Saturday, May 27, 2006

My Response To Allah

Allahpundit on Hot Air brings up the topic of free speech, versus showing respect for those who disagree with you. He points out this editorial by Howard Kurtz criticizing the disrespect shown to Senator John McCain during a recent campus graduation appearance. I first became aware of this situation earlier in the week when I read a similar column by Ann Coulter, herself hardly a huge McCain supporter. Anytime you can get Howard Kurtz and Ann Coulter to agree on anything, you have a remarkable story indeed.

Allah also brings up the 9/11 conspiracy theories, and how there is this explosion of outrage, often for outrage’s sake, without taking into consideration what you are attacking. There is also another side to this that I feel is fascinating, the self martyrdom of those involved. People march in the streets, post on internet forums, and celebrities constantly make public appearances, all screaming at the top of their lungs how they don’t have freedom to speak their minds, not realizing the irony. Then they praise themselves for the courage to speak out. Is this really courage though, or just self involvement? As Ann Coulter puts it:

This week the world gasped in awe at the raw heroism of Jean Rohe, the student at the New School who gave a speech attacking the commencement speaker, Republican Sen. John McCain, at the commencement ceremony.

We mostly heard about Rohe's bravery from Rohe — and, really, who is in a better position to judge? As Rohe herself put it: "If there's one thing that I know about myself, it is that I care for people, and in that sense I have a great deal of character."

When I was an undergrad, I had the honor of meeting Elena Bonner, the widow of Soviet Dissident Andrei Sakharov, when she visited my class before a speech she was making. Most Americans nowadays don’t even know who Sakharov was, much less appreciate his significance, but he was a man who gave up everything he had. He was a hero of Soviet science, and an icon for a generation, and he gave that up and was forced into exile because he stood for freedom and human rights. And yet people consider themselves a hero because they interrupt Republicans during a speech, or post an idiotic conspiracy theory on a bulletin board.

In any case, later that night when Elena Bonner spoke, she opened the floor up for questions, most of which were appropriately on the topic of human rights in the former Soviet Union. Then one student got up and began ranting for 5 minutes on the oppression of gays in the United States and how they are not allowed to marry.

Bonner replied simply, “I wish we had your problems.” The student didn’t seem to understand, it wasn’t about him.

But this is getting worse. Before it was just a few self involved activists, now it is becoming an entire generation. Perhaps it is technology? The Internet has done some wonderful things, without it I couldn’t be posting my thoughts for people to read, but in making information so readily available, it has also made it cheap. Before, if you wanted to learn something, you actually had to go out and find a book and read it, or seek out someone who was an expert in the area, and ask them about it. Now you just do a quick google search and the information appears right before you. No need to think about it, or analyze it, the truth is instantly in front of you, it is in a video, it must be true!

What happens then though is you get information without wisdom, it becomes nothing more than a number of unrelated points superficially connected. The movie Loose Change is the perfect example of that. A trio of uneducated 20-somethings make a movie based off of screencaptures of conspiracy websites, and suddenly they are seen as speaking from authority. They never had to do the hard work to turn this information into wisdom, and thus it has no value. If they would have been required to have had more years of experience in order to accomplish this, if they had to exert more effort into compiling what went into their movie, then perhaps they would have paid more attention to the validity of their claims. Instead, they just wallow in their own arrogance, and declare themselves the bearers of the truth.


At 27 May, 2006 11:27, Blogger shawn said...

As someone of the generation of Avery et al, I'm quite embarrassed.

Not just for the conspiracy nonsense, but the anti-Americanism, Marxist and communist revisionism, and the blind loyalty to anyone espousing anything supporting the aforementioned points. Zinn, Chomsky, etc are the heroes of my generation, people stuck in the 60s. My generation would rather have their own Vietnam, where they can say how evil this nation is, rather than their own World War II, where we stood as one and said "enough".

At 27 May, 2006 12:50, Blogger Chad said...

Very well put James.

At 27 May, 2006 18:26, Blogger Pat said...

Rog, where were they between the Munich Pact and the invasion of the Soviet Union?

At 27 May, 2006 21:26, Blogger nes718 said...

Repeat after me, there is no such thing as Al Qaeda, there is no such thing as Al Qaeda...

Baby it's Cold Outside
The Phantom Victory
The Shadows in the Cave

See part 3 first if you want to get to the point but see them all in order to get a perspective of the scope of the deception.

At 27 May, 2006 21:59, Blogger shawn said...

Zinn's book, "A People's History of The United States" covers history not really remembered by any generation. It's an admirable work.

Odd, I learned nothing from the book other than My Lai being a more important event than WW2.

I love listening to people bashing him for being some kind of socialist by pointing out what transpired in this country outside the propaganda mill's recollection.

He's a Marxist, and that obviously causes him tunnel vision and what he covers.

The same people who enjoy and 8 hour work day, health and safety laws, whose kids aren't turned into factory cogs at age 12 with a life expectency of 26. As if the curent way of life was bestowed upon Amnericans by their benevolent corporate leaders. Is is shameful to note the thousands of Americans who died fighting for basic human rights in THIS country when their were none?

So cherry-pick only the 'good' portions of the book, will you? It's obvious from prior threads you can't be reasoned with, so why do I even bother? Zinn isn't biased at all, he's not a propagandist! Praise be to him, I see the light!

As for Chomsky, he's among the most thorough researchers in modern times, and again attacking his work is simply a lamenting of facts which you do not like.

Chomsky isn't a thorough researcher, you idiot. He paints the Cold War as American aggression against a peaceful Soviet empire that fostered democracy in its sphere of influence. Anyone with the basest understanding of history knows this to be a foolish position.

He trashed people who said there was a Cambodian genocide of epic proportions and said there'd be a silent genocide in Afghanistan.

So he's so thorough he ignores a real genocide while fearing fake ones?

At 27 May, 2006 22:00, Blogger shawn said...

Repeat after me, there is no such thing as Al Qaeda, there is no such thing as Al Qaeda...

Y'know, I could say you were a genius over and over again, and guess what! It still wouldn't make it true.

Peddle your nonsense elsewhere.

At 27 May, 2006 22:01, Blogger shawn said...

Rog, where were they between the Munich Pact and the invasion of the Soviet Union?

You can't argue history with someone who think revisionism is right on.

They ignored the war until the Soviets were getting trampled.

At 27 May, 2006 22:27, Blogger nes718 said...

Y'know, I could say you were a genius over and over again, and guess what! It still wouldn't make it true.

Peddle your nonsense elsewhere.

Not my "nonsense" that's BBC's nonsense. But anyway, it doesn't change the fact that, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AL QAEDA! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AL QAEDA! :D

At 28 May, 2006 06:13, Blogger shawn said...

I'd be hard pressed to find that statement made anywhere by Zinn. My Lai is important. WW2 is fairly well documented. I'd recommend Shirers work if you need more knowledge on the subject.

I don't need more knowledge on it, but a People's history should contain more on WW2 than My Lai, anybody knows that.

He's a "Marxist"?

"His philosophy incorporates ideas from Marxism, anarchism, socialism, and social democracy."

He's also a historian, and again I will say that if reading history that you don't like to know is communist indoctrination, that's your problem.

Zinn has even said he's biased and that history should be painted by a political viewpoint, which isn't true at all. But you see any history that isn't Zinn's as propaganda, so bully to you.

No, he doesn't. He paints the Cold War as American aggression against a corrupt, inept, bankrupt strawman to heighten global tensions and allow for US hegemony. Which is true. Here's a timeline:

Except Stalin had designs on global domination and had the largest army on Earth after the war. Strawman, my ass.


Tsar bomba?

Keeping up in the arms race?

Cuban Missle Crisis.

God, you're dumb.

A more comprehensive understanding would lead you to more logical conclusions

I never got the memo where they changed the definition of "logical" to "illogical". Good thing you informed me of this change to the lexicon.

Noam Chomsky "trashed" people? No doubt citing facts and references to relevant documents in the matter?

Man, are you that ignorant? Honestly, I at least thought you read these guys.

Again I doubt your veracity, as Afghanistan has been an ongoing genocide since the late 70's and Chomsky is well aware of that reality.

He was referring to the US invasion bringing a silent genocide. Again, your ignorance of the topics discussed speaks volumes.

late 70's and Chomsky is well aware of that reality. The US killed 3.5 million Vietnamese, Cambodia's Khmer killed about half that. Not arguing for the latter's nehavior, but as long as we're on the topic of ignoring genocide, do you call Vietnam a genocide?

3.1 million Vietnamese died in the entire war, so again, your ignorance speaks volumes. Cambodia killed between 1.2 and 2 million, about a quarter of their entire population.

It's odd you don't understand the difference between targeted extermination and war. During the Second World War we were trying to wipe the Germans and Japanese people off the planet? Please.

"They" who?

The socialists you idiot. He was pointing out your ludicrious take on the facts, where you ignored that they didn't want intervention till Hitler turned on Stalin.

At 28 May, 2006 10:06, Blogger nes718 said...

WW2 is fairly well documented.

False. Most of the "history" is pure allied/Zionist propaganda.

At 28 May, 2006 10:29, Blogger shawn said...

False. Most of the "history" is pure allied/Zionist propaganda.

No, it's not. Stop saying that.

At 28 May, 2006 18:21, Blogger shawn said...

Are you one of those short guys? Napoleon syndrome kicking in?

I'm 6'2". If I were in the NBA, that might be short.

Funny coming from someone preaching the historical bias of their own political viewpoint as the only one worth knowing.

In an objective sense, the entirety of the Second World War is more important than a single incident in the Vietnam War. It's not any type of political bias. Next you'll tell me My Lai was worse than Dresden.

The Soviets were on the US dole for the duration of the cold war. The only reason it ended in the late 80's is because its architects died. Who declared the Cold War anyway? Do you know? Of course you don't! But I do. Keep studying, Junior.

HAHAHAHA do you buy into every counterfactual take on history? This is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing you've said thus far. The Soviets didn't steal the bomb, we gave it to them! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH Wow, just wow.

You have no idea what Marxism is, if you did you would look around and discover...gasp... the United States incorporated ideas from Marxism, anarchism, socialism and social democracy. Spin things however you like.

Ah, I see you can't tell the difference between gradations. I mean in Denmark you give up more than half your paycheck to the government, but the US is a Marxist utopia!

Wikipedia tends to have a bias towards showing people like Zinn in a positive light, by the way. Odd you'd attack it.

Forgot to add, Hitler's first target, before he got around to the Jews, were the socialists. He eradicated them from Europe before the Jewish Holocaust got legs.

God, do you ever get sick of being wrong? He blamed socialism on the JEws and THEN targeted the socialists. Then again, you only subscribe to ideas counter to any mainstream history.

On Cambodian apologism, entered as "CRITICISM" mind you, meaning interpretation of facts, presented by...OH... the American Spectator. Well if they say he's a holocaust denier then he must be. Sorry I thought you were going to cite Chomsky, not an American Spectator hit piece.

I guess you didn't read Chomsky's reviews or anything...

Odd you think I just take the Sepctator's word for it, rather than actually reading Chomsky's work (which I did, and you didn't).

None of that is in your John Wayne edition of US History though, so continue to imagine it wasn't like that at all.

hahah you are such a fool, it's pathetic knowing people like you exist. Of course we targeted civilians. What was Hiroshima? Nagasaki? (Although you probably don't subscribe to the iron-clad defense that more people would've died without those bombings.) Roger's logic: if it's mainstream, it must be wrong!

Socialists have only done good for the world!

Moral relativism is a-ok!

At 28 May, 2006 18:22, Blogger shawn said...

Back and to the left! Back to the left!

At 28 May, 2006 18:54, Blogger shawn said...

I'm so glad some uberhistorian on this blog set me straight, and let me in on the fact that revisionist history is in fact, actual history.

Shame I studied countless primary sources for all those years. All that time down the toilet, eh?

At 28 May, 2006 20:55, Blogger shawn said...

But I was once as oblivious as you and made most of your same erroneous arguments you are, so maybe you'll figure it out eventually. Or you'll die without ever knowing.


You have the secret knowledge, roger! Be proud.


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