A mish-mash

It’s been an incoherent day, one that never gave me the opportunity for contemplation and writing.  Instead, I’ve been bopping here and there, and dealing with one thing and another.  Nevertheless, I have been tracking the news, so I thought I’d just write up a mish-mash of thoughts about current issues and events.

Gaza

The top issue/event, obviously, is Gaza.  By now you’ve all seen the hysterical headline about Israel having blown up a UN school, killing scores of civilians.  At the exact second I read the words “UN school,” I knew it wasn’t a school at all but was, instead, a weapons storage facility and a headquarters for fighters.  Why did I know this?  Because the UN in Gaza is completely complicit with Hamas.  In that part of the world, the two are one and the same entity.  I also knew that the school wasn’t really a school because Gaza intentionally places fighters and weapons around children precisely so that it garner this type of scare headline.  Michelle Malkin has a fact-filled post detailing all the many ways in which my instincts on this one were dead on the money.

Speaking of Hamas setting its children up as targets so that it can further vilify Israel in the eyes of the world, you really must read Ron Rosenbaum’s article explaining why, to the extent there are differences between Hamas and the Nazis, Hamas is infinitely worse.  As part of that line of thinking, it’s worth noting that even the Nazis weren’t willing to sacrifice their own children merely to score propaganda points.

As is always the case, everyone in the world outside of America is urging Israel to back down.  (In America, while Obama is ominously quiet, even Dirty Harry Reid has acknowledged Israel’s right to defend against the non-stop rocket attacks that have poured death and destruction on the land for years now.)  In the past, Israel has listened.  This time, I’m hoping against hope that she gives the world the middle finger and does what she has to do to defend herself.  I’ve never understood why Israel, rather like the pathetic nerdy kid in high school, keeps twisting herself into damaging contortions to satisfy people who will despise her regardless.  Eventually, the nerd just has to go it alone and the hell with the critics.

Incidentally, although the world doesn’t deserve good fortune, if Israel is wise enough to give it the finger, it may just get good fortune anyway — the good fortune in this case being that an Israeli victory against Hamas in Gaza is also an Israeli victory against the mad Mullahs in Iran.  As has been the case for decades now, Israel is our proxy, and we should be grateful that she’s putting her bodies on the line so we don’t have to.

And one last word on the subject:  Reader Lulu send me an email pointing out something interesting, which is that Hezbollah is doing nothing right now.  You’d think that this would be a perfect time for Hezbollah to force a two-front war on Israel.  That it’s not doing so might be a good indication that, all propaganda to the contrary, Israel may have inflicted serious damage on it back in 2006.  Iran can replace the arms, but maybe she can’t replace the men.

God

In England, the atheists have launched an ad campaign encouraging people to abandon religion so that they can be happy.  One of the brains behind this initiative is Ariane Sherine. She decided to launch the ad campaign because “she became angry after noticing a set of Christian advertisements carrying a website address which warned that people who reject God are condemned to spend all eternity to ‘torment in Hell.’”

I’m perfectly willing to admit that trying to scare people into religion may not be the smartest way to go about things.  I do find the ad campaign peculiar, though, because I was under the impression that polls show religious people are more happy, not less happy, than the average atheist (putting aside the fact that the average vocal atheist always seem to be a pretty darn angry person).

As you all know, I’m a big believer in the many virtues of religion, although not particularly religious myself.  Aside from liking the core moral aspects religion brings, I’ve also always appreciated (and envied) the way religion brings meaning to life.

In a religious world, man is not just a random collection of atoms, molecules, cells and organs, put on earth to procreate and scrabble for food until he dies.  Instead, at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition with which I’m familiar, man’s life has meaning and purpose.  Whether God used evolution as his tool or instant creation, man exists in God’s image.  His corporeal body may not necessarily be the mirror image of God’s being, but he is in God’s image to the extent that his mind and spirit are attuned to justice and a higher purpose.  We’re not just meaningless bugs.  We are something special and our time on earth has meaning, whether we emphasize that in our own lives or not.

All of which is to say that it strikes me as mighty darn peculiar to advertise an absence of religion as the answer to the search for happiness.  You might as well say, “You’re a meaningless bug.  Get used to it.”

Tolerance

While the first wave of hysteria following the passage in California of Prop. 8 has finally died down, hard feelings continue.  A Catholic Church in San Francisco was covered with offensive graffiti, likening the church and its parishioners to Nazis. The beautiful irony of this story is that this particular church, located near the Castro district, has always been a welcoming place to gays.

Aside from the fact that vandals, by their very nature, can’t be expected to be intelligent (I guess), I find it strange that we live in a world in which hewing to unexceptional traditional values that span all cultures and all times is an invitation to vandalism.  As you know, I’d be perfectly happy to see the state get out of the marriage business, leaving that to religion, and instead get into the domestic partnership business, with an emphasis on encouraging stable behaviors that strengthen society.  Pending that unlikely situation, however, I can’t help but wonder if the gay marriage advocates realize that offending ordinary people who support ordinary values is not likely to advance their cause.

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Comments

  1. Ymarsakar says

    I can’t help but wonder if the gay marriage advocates realize that offending ordinary people who support ordinary values is not likely to advance their cause.

    Given that they were never interested in convincing their neighbors of the correctness of their cause, that wouldn’t matter to the gay activists, now would it.

    Btw, Book, Israel should break Hamas in a fashion reminiscent of this video.

    Link

    Warning: Be advised that this video per FCC regulations has unexpected happenstances.

    Break Hamas. Now.

  2. Mike Devx says

    I ran across a libertarian agonizing – philosophically – over the limits of acceptable self-defense, for individuals and for nations. One paragraph in particular struck me, in that he didn’t analyze in the manner I would have.

    http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2009/01/05/israel-hamas-gaza-oped-cx_re_0106epstein.html?partner=commentary_newsletter

    The author said:
    The principle of proportionality can be extended to some cases of bodily harm. You can’t kill an attacker who for sure will do no more than scratch your face. The innocent party has to lick his wounds for the benefit of a wrongdoer.

    My thought is this:
    Let’s look at individual responsibility in the case of a powerful man and his weaker, much smaller, but very temperamental girlfriend. She gets upset at him, and she flies at him, striking at his face with fingernails (per the fellow’s example above).

    I think it is entirely reasonable for him to hold her off, try to calm her down, even while she is inflicting some damage. He is allowed to do worse, but perhaps should do minimal, in that situation. His friends, family, and neighbors might even expect him to exercise restraint.

    But what about the SECOND time she does this? And then the third? And the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh? At what point are his friends, family, and neighbors morally obligated themselves to relieve him of all responsibility for being cautious in defense? Of course, being an individual example, the fellow can end the relationship, one supposes – except for the horrors of the judicial system, which might punish him with excessive alimony or palimony or what-have-you.

    In the Israel/Hamas case, Israel cannot simply “leave”. If any restraint was called for on Hamas’ early aggressions, now that they are on their umpteenth campaign of death and destruction against Israel, how is it possible that across the rest of the world, there are those STILL urging Israel to be cautious and to accept, to simply accept, their own deaths and their own destruction?

    I can only hope that more and more people will tire of the endless game and admit it’s simply nuts; that by now, Israel is more than justified in their responses. That in fact, if a school is filled with munitions, soldiers, and children, that in fact the community surrounding that school is responsible for deliberately sacrificing their own children to a martyr’s cause. And THAT, my fellow civilized citizens, is an act of EVIL, against your own children.

    As a commenter said elsewhere, Hamas is worse than Nazis; at least the Nazis didn’t deliberately put their own children in the line of fire. Luckily for the world, Hamas is, at least currently, less effective than Nazis. But they’re a force of barbarism and horror set directly against all of civilization, all of civilized behavior. We should not be fooled.

  3. Mike Devx says

    >> I can’t help but wonder if the gay marriage advocates realize that offending ordinary people who support ordinary values is not likely to advance their cause. >>

    I’ve wondered about that at times in these postings, too. The concept applies to using the courts to overturn the will of the people in these cases as well. It shows that these gay marriage advocates do not even conceive of the idea of “ordinary people supporting ordinary values”. There are those who are with them, and those who are against them. Those who are with them are good, and those who are against them, are bad.

    That is why they will attack you even when you are not attacking them: Because you are holding bad ideas and are therefore bad, and are deserving of being assaulted.

    The world is very simple for liberal activists, when everyone holding “bad ideas”, meaning ideas they don’t like, is treated as if they were criminal.

  4. Ymarsakar says

    You can’t kill an attacker who for sure will do no more than scratch your face.

    These people think they can “gauge” the level of threat from something like Hamas based upon their technology levels or something. This is completely wrong and foolish.

    There is no “for sure” in a fight. There is only what they can or cannot do, what Hamas is capable of and what they are not capable of physically. A dead enemy, for example, cannot fight anymore. That is the only 100% guarantee around.

    The world is very simple for liberal activists, when everyone holding “bad ideas”, meaning ideas they don’t like, is treated as if they were criminal.

    I think the better word is apostate or heretic rather than “criminal”. If they treated us like criminals, they would be yelling about our presumption of innocence and our right to due process. They don’t say that though, because they don’t see us violators of their religion not violators of a civil law.

  5. Danny Lemieux says

    Two thoughts, MikeD:

    One, you shoot rabid dogs, you don’t befriend them or discuss proportionality. Afterwards, when the dog is no longer a threat, you can feel sorry for the dog and discuss ways that contracting rabies can be avoided.

    Second, I would add that “liberal activists” can only hold such beliefs because they are insulated from the consequences thereof. Nobody should be in a position to judge the Israelis unless they themselves display a willingness to live under a constant barrage of missiles. Remember, these are the same people who get apoplectic when exposed to second-hand smoke.

  6. Mike Devx says

    Danny #5,

    >> Nobody should be in a position to judge the Israelis unless they themselves display a willingness to live under a constant barrage of missiles. Remember, these are the same people who get apoplectic when exposed to second-hand smoke. >>

    Danny, when I can read a statement like yours, that just rips the liberal idiocy straight to shreds, I realize I’m hopelessly mentally sunk into the liberal world. Of COURSE the liberals don’t give a flying f***k about Israeli children… and yes they are apoplectic about second-hand smoke… and yes, you are right: Being capable of holding those two positions is clearly insane. It’s the very definition of insane.

    And I was incapable of making such a connection until you made it. Sigh. I remain blinded. And I don’t know how blinded I am.

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