I teased the Reculsive leftist a little because she didn’t notice the outrage of the right and Christians over the beheading in Buffalo and lack of coverage thereof. She however hits it out of the park with this one:

For many commenters on the web, it is apparently impossible to condemn this nightmare without hastening to add that American culture has plenty of its own home-grown brand of misogyny, and it’s therefore “intolerant” to notice the particular lethalness of the honor-shame paradigm in some non-Western cultures. You know the argument: America is full of sexism and the commodification of women and our own gendered violence, so we have no business even talking about women’s rights.

If you’re a habitué of the progressive blogosphere, this line of thought is probably so familiar that you take it in without blinking.

She sees it as woman’s rights vs human rights and argues that they are same thing:

But for me, as a feminist, women’s rights are human rights. I am not an apostle for American culture, which is certainly far from perfect; I am an advocate for women. When I criticize honor killings or sharia law or any of the other non-Western abuses of women, I’m not speaking from a standpoint of cultural chauvinism. The ground I occupy is one of fundamental human rights for all women: freedom of action, of self-determination, of bodily integrity; freedom from violence and oppression and subjugation; freedom to be educated, to work, to love, to have children (or not); freedom to participate fully in life as first-class citizens. I view and judge every society on earth through that lens, including my own.

But by the same token, it doesn’t work to simply advocate for a universal ideal of women’s rights without inquiring too closely into the specific cultural obstacles to achieving that ideal. The devil, as ever, is in the details. We cannot unpack the situation of an abused wife in a conservative Christian community, for example, unless we understand the particular social and religious codes at work. We can’t stop honor killings unless we know why they happen — and I mean exactly why they happen. What are the social and religious codes at work there? What is the psychology of the people who do this? What drives them, what sustains them, what potential punishments and rewards are in the offing? I wrote on Tuesday that “we must be like doctors fighting disease, seeking to identify precisely the pathogens involved.” If we’re serious about ending the oppression of women, nothing less will do.

She does ignore the real possibility that people writing are afraid of getting ones head cut off but other than that omission this is about as solid as it gets.

Apparently the consensus is the grownups gotta pay.

6:32 a.m. It’s not fair but that’s the way it is.

6:38 a.m. Pat: Is Iran working on a nuclear weapon, apparently he needs more sleep in the morning.

6:38 a.m. Martin: Iran hasn’t been transparent NO itshay.

6:40 a.m. Joe notices that our troops surround them.

6:51 a.m. Charles Barkley on his arrest, That was Turrible Turrible Turrible.
6:41 a.m. Iran could be helpful? What planet is he on?

6:42 a.m. Palin approval in the 60’s they seem disappointed.

6:49 a.m. Apparently Letterman still is afraid of making fun of Obama

6:53 a.m. You know I never saw them laugh once about all the weird Obama stuff. One Sarah Palin Calender and they are in hysterics.

7:01 a.m. I’m going to be generous and say they are laughing at Pat, but I get the feeling that Mika wouldn’t put up with it.

7:06 a.m. I guess its impossible to ignore the CNBC Obama stuff. Joe might like it but I bet its killing the doc.

7:11 a.m. In the stock market we are now gambling on the government not on the companies, time to pull the kids account.

7:34 a.m. Mayor of SF and Pat is asking him about tax stuff, not culture? What a waste of a chance.

7:56 a.m. Server Blip, Dean says its in the country’s best interest for people to not lose their houses.

8:06 a.m. Revert to his partisan role?

8:11 a.m. Illinois has its own set of interesting rules: Howard Dean.

8:14 a.m. Barnicle is right why would Burris resign, no other democrat in the congress ever does.

8:23 a.m. Money party crashes the show.

8:38 a.m. Elections are destabilizing in Iraq? You’ve gotta be kidding.

8:41 a.m. Petraeus isn’t liked among generals. Its not odd he is successful and General officers can be very jealous.

8:43 a.m. You know it would be nice if someone on this show pretended to support the war sometime.

Online chat with Willie and Barnicle today here.

I haven’t quoted Jay Nordlinger in a while but today’s Impromptus should be required reading to remind us just what we are dealing with in Islam:

More from MEMRI, more from Arab TV—this time not so funny. Listen to a Kuwaiti professor appearing on al-Jazeera:

Four pounds of anthrax . . . carried by a fighter through tunnels from Mexico into the U.S., are guaranteed to kill 330,000 Americans within a single hour, if it is properly spread in population centers there.

What a horrifying idea. 9/11 will be small change in comparison. Am I right? There is no need for airplanes, conspiracies, timings, and so on.

One person, with the courage to carry four pounds of anthrax, will go to the White House lawn, and will spread this ‘confetti’ all over them, and then will do these cries of joy. It will turn into a real ‘celebration.’

(For the full report, go here.) I don’t watch much al-Jazeera, but it must be a cauldron of poison. And, all those years ago, when we liberated Kuwait—did we have to liberate that professor?

I look at this and then think of the comments at Tim Blair’s blog worrying that the beheading (that apparently nobody is blogging about) will hurt the image of Islam.

From what I’ve been seeing the thing that hurts the image of Islam the most is Islam. I’m reminded of the old saying from the civil war: All Democrats are not confederates but all confederates were democrats.

Mark Steyn points to this article by Lars Hedegaard that I am ashamed to say didn’t hit me until I read it:

We know that the broad Left – which in Europe would include various shades of the hard, Communist or Marxist Left, the New Left, which has now transformed itself into tree huggers, and the traditional Social Democratic parties – has vacated its traditional ideological positions in order to preach ideologies that used to be hallmarks of the far right. Positions such as the need for censorship, kissing up to demands that “religions” (i.e. Islam) must not be criticized or ridiculed, the institution of ethnic or tribal special privileges and inequality before the law – depending on what ethnic, tribal or clan chief or holy man can ingratiate himself to the top of the totem pole as most aggrieved victim.

This new weltanschauung takes us back to a legal order – or rather lack of order – the like of which we haven’t seen in the civilized world since – when? The democratic revolutions of the 19th century, the French Revolution, the American Revolution, England’s Glorious Revolution, John Milton’s Areopagitica, Magna Carta?

Take your pick. Any one of the above is true.

The road chosen by the parties on the Left permits no return. Having alienated – not to say discarded – large chunks of their traditional working class voters,
they are now increasingly dependent on the Muslim vote, which they hope will guarantee them a perpetual foothold at least in the major populations centers.
emphasis mine

It’s all about money and power. These pols of the left primary principle is to keep both. It it means appeasing Islam, then so be it. After all when you don’t have a next generation of your own to worry about or a belief system that looks beyond today’s comfort who cares?

Oh joy the death doc is on and it’s all universal health care

6:35 a.m. She now comments on how 90% of the health budget goes for the last year of life, she doesn’t come out and say kill em, she says “ration” translated, let em die.

6:45 a.m. We are apparently idiots for not having the lousy Canadian or British health care system.

6:50 a.m. These people are really anxious to spend my money. If Scarborough wants to run for the senate in Florida, his primary opponent just had his ad made for him.

6:52 a.m. Apparently since we can’t make fun of Obama we now go back to Clinton.

had to take a kid to school no vacation due to the storms in December.

7:41 a.m. What congress has inherited? How many years has Cummings been in congress?

7:55 a.m. Winslet apparently has a normal life. That speaks well for her.

8:08 a.m. Joe on Roland Burris: “When they talk like that, they’re gone”.

8:10 a.m. Joe & Pat: It’s going to be a tough year for Dem’s in 2010. That didn’t take long.

8:13 a.m. Assume that everything you put up is seen by everyone. That is good advice.

8:15 a.m. All about the get a life brigade

8:36 a.m. Better advice has never been given PAY DOWN THE MORTGAGE!

8:38 a.m. You don’t have any money you can’t invest in the stock market.

8:41 a.m. Suzie Orman always annoyed me but on credit cards etc she is dead on today. Keep her on finance and off of social issues and she is pretty good.

Liz Fairley comments on Australians who choose to live in areas vulnerable to fire:

…to inhabit the bush, especially as climate change takes hold, is to make yourself fuel.

Certainly, we should feel compassion. And certainly, there should be regulations. Quite probably there should be more assiduous back-burning. But to blame green policies – to cull already endangered shark species, to reduce tree cover – is to blame nature for human folly.

Liam Sheahan might disagree she goes on:

Some have to live in bush, or swim at dusk. But bush suburbs and forested hamlets are voluntary, designed for the illusion of paradise on earth. It works, too, like any bubble, until it doesn’t.

Tim Blair contrasts her suggestion to avoid one voluntary life threatening risk to the numbers on a different one:

So they should live elsewhere; make different “lifestyle choices”. Farrelly is dismissive of tactics (“Cut the trees! Burn the undergrowth!”) that would reduce the risk of living in the country, preferring that people simply live elsewhere, contrary to their preferences.

Yet more than 6700 people died of AIDS in Australia from the beginning of the epidemic until mid-2007 – a far greater number than were killed in bushfires during the same period. Imagine if Farrelly had written in 1989 that those at risk of AIDS should stop being gay (“To inhabit the bath houses, especially as AIDS takes hold, is to make yourself HIV positive”). Instead, sensibly, medical and social solutions were sought (“Kill the virus! Use the condoms!”) in order to preserve human freedom and human lives.

Funny how numbers can put some things in perspective.

You’ve just gotta love Christopher Hitchens.

Christopher Hitchens is currently in Beirut sponsored by the same group that owns that crap NOW Lebanon. He got in a few nights ago and surprisingly went out drinking. On his way out of the bar he saw an SSNP poster and wrote on it “F*** the SSNP”. There just happened to be some SSNP thugs near by–most likely asking people for their ID, and most likely to no avail–and saw him write on the poster and kicked his ass. He is still walking with a limp.

Abu Muqawama says he’s confirmed the story. The SSNP is, of course, a Hezbollah ally that advocates a Syrian anschluss of Lebanon (and Israel, natch). Consider Hitch a minor martyr to the cause of the Cedar Revolution here.

Muqawama thinks he’s a fool:

Look, it’s widely known that since the May 2008 events the SSNP guys have behaved like thugs in Hamra (where the ass-kicking took place). But seriously, would you roll into East L.A. and start writing over gang signs? I mean, is that smart? C’mon, Brother Hitchens, we’re rootin’ for you, but have a little walkin’ around sense.

Ace says details are wrong so we will have to see.

Atheist smatheist; this guy has guts and honor. He’s certainly no Robert Fisk. It will take more than a beating to stop him from saying what he thinks.

Update: Ace has the scoop:

Hitch and two others were out on some or such errand. One guy was just telling Hitchens that the Syrian Nazi party had little support in the country but was paid by Syria to kill people, and that he’d been told they’re the one party you don’t fuck with.

So five minutes later they come across the poster for the Syrian Nazi Party on an abandoned bagel shop — abandoned, if I had this right, after Hezballah had attacked it last year due to the overly Jewish connotations of bagelry.

So Hitchens immediately takes out a pen and writes “No, no, Fuck You” on the poster. I don’t know if he’d digested the story and decided to fuck with them anyway, or else he was just reacting to the modified swastika on the poster.

Not quite Gandhi not getting off the train but still gutsy.

Well, when this Syrian Nazi goon saw Hitch do this, he confronted him and kinda-sorta attacked him. I say kinda sorta attacked, because what his main intent was was to delay Hitchens from leaving — until the ten Nazi goons he had just texted on his cell phone could arrive.

There was some kicking and pulling and hitting. Hitch and the others attempted to get into a cab — the Syrian Nazi goon got right in the cab with them, still hitting Hitchens. They could not force him out. Eventually they all exited, and attempted to get a fresh cab, but other cabbies were now hip to the fact the Syrian Nazis had been riled and wanted no business from them, so two cabs passed refusing their fare.

Now at this point the ten Nazi goons showed up (about five minutes into this– they came quickly) and Hitch and the other two were probably going to get the crap beaten out of them, at best. However, they finally managed to get a cabbie who was either brave or didn’t know the trouble he was getting into and got in, this time without the goon, and left the other ten behind.

My favorite line of the entire piece is this:

(I’m not saying he didn’t get drunk– just not then.)

Ace had held off posting this, he was going to wait till they were outta there but the word is out so what are you gonna do?

Update 2: Hotair updates too

(Update 4: Major update here.)

People seemed to have their knickers in twist over the Nancy Pelosi’s meeting with the pope. It reminds me of Christopher Hitchens over Mother Teresa’s willingness to meet less than fully savory characters. So the result from the meeting produces no surprise to me:

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday told U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who supports abortion rights, that Catholic politicians have a duty to protect life “at all stages of its development,” the Vatican said.

Pelosi is the first top Democrat to meet with Benedict since the election of Barack Obama, who won a majority of the Catholic vote despite differences with the Vatican on abortion.

The Vatican released remarks by the pope to Pelosi, saying Benedict spoke of the church’s teaching “on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.” That is an expression often used by the pope when expressing opposition to abortion.

Benedict said all Catholics—especially legislators, jurists and political leaders—should work to create “a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.”

Part of the job description of any Catholic Priest is to welcome but correct sinners. This is what the pope has done and don’t underestimate the effect even a gentle in person correction by the pope can have if there is any spark of Catholic left in the system. Continue reading “How about that, the pope acting like…The Pope”

6:02 a.m. The Bill Clinton quote wouldn’t have happened on my watch.

6:03 a.m. Where is congress on the list asks Barnicle? All agree. I say where is Frank and Dodd?

6:05 a.m. The drunken finance minister who was featured in news you can’t use has resigned. The power of Willie is established internationally.

6:12 a.m. These people are not serious about the bill. Spend a weekend and read the bill before voting.

6:32 a.m. We aren’t all Kenyans and we will see how it all works out.

6:34 a.m. What did get us out of the depression? Unemployment mixed bag, Politically successful, WWII military Kenyans’

6:41 a.m. Joe: We can’t grow if we don’t make things. What constitutes making things?

7:05 a.m. Joe: We have brought back the welfare state

7:36 a.m. Interesting take on history and the responsibilities of wealth by Mika’s father Dr. Brzezinski.

7:41 a.m. Brzezinski: We must define our goals narrowly in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

7:49 a.m. Pat: Will Obama be able to stop an attack on Israel? Brzezinski: The Iranians can’t hit Israel, they can take revenge on us. My take, Israel isn’t going to die just to please the Obama administration.

8:10 a.m. Pick on the Germans’ day, the we can’t win caucus seems to be in session.

8:25 a.m. New York times making money off the Obama election well they have to raise revenue somehow, maybe they can make their own coins.

8:29 a.m. The New York Times is doing well, pay no attention to the layoffs or the stock value plunge.

8:39 a.m. The Axelrods have much more important things on their minds than politics. Epilepsy

8:52 a.m. You can see the doctor just wants to recommend Abortion but can’t bring herself to do so on the air.