The Bookworm Beat — August 13, noon edition

Woman writingNo ruminations today. I’m just diving into the post:

We have met the enemy, and it isn’t us, it’s ISIS

One of the tocsins I’m relentlessly ringing on my “real me” Facebook is that what we’re seeing in the Middle East — in Syria, in Israel, in Iraq, in Egypt — is only the current front line in Islamist battle for world domination. Once they conquer there, the Islamists will do what they’ve done since Mohamed’s time, which is to spread out looking for new lands to conquer.

Importantly, these warriors don’t “conquer” the way Americans do, which is to kick out fascist governments, set up a civil infrastructure, and flood the country with American money and know-how. They conquer the old-fashioned way, with fire and sword (and rape and burial alive and slavery too).

Nor are my fears about Islamist Jihad based upon fantasies and conspiracies. Back in the day, when the Nazis targeted the Jews, they had no hard evidence to support their complaint that Jews were engaged in an effort to take over the world. Indeed, their only evidence was the absence of evidence. “Look,” they crowed. “The fact that there’s not a single bit of proof that Jews are doing any of the things we say they’re doing is proof that they’re doing it secretly.”

There’s nothing secret about al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban, and that whole jolly crew of rapists and murderers. They boast proudly about their worst excesses. Indeed it must sometimes amaze them how the West resolutely pretends that these boasts, complete with pictures, do not exist. Journalists are slowly catching up to the horrors, but people clearly don’t want to know.

Richard Fernandez is paying attention to what’s happening. He feels, as I do, that the West is dancing on the edge of a volcano, willfully turning a blind eye to its own imminent destruction.

ISIS is driving “moderate” Islamist states into Israel’s waiting arms

Something good might be coming out of ISIS’s rampage, though: Saudi Arabia and other “moderate” Arab states are signaling strongly that they have bigger fish to fry than a fight with Israel.  The more Westernized Muslims nations are realizing that they have a bigger enemy in out-of-control Islamists than they ever did with Israel (never mind that Saudi Arabia fanned, and paid for, that particularly fanatic flame for decades).

My proof for making the above statement comes from two things that crossed my radar yesterday. The first was a long editorial in a UAE newspaper insisting that ISIS must be defeated before it accrues even greater power and wealth. The second was an editorial in a Saudi-owned, London-based newspaper explicitly stating that the balance of power in the Middle East has shifted. According to that piece, the The “current conflict looks like an Israel/Hamas–Turkey–Iran–Qatar one, with the rest of the Arab world’s support existing only on Twitter and other social media forums.”  (Emphasis added.)

And apropos ISIS’s accrued power and wealth, HuffPo, of all places, has an article detailing ISIS’s scary numbers, including its huge bank balance, which it obtained the old-fashioned Islamic way: by conquest.

Media Malfeasance at the BBC

Regarding Israel, the BBC lies, and then it lies about lying.

Obama’s perverse “Midas” touch

Victor Davis Hanson on the fact that everything Obama touches turns to dross. Which conclusion leads to two appropriate pictures:

Medusa and Midas

Atomic Obama

Keeping an eye on the upcoming elections

Even as I keep my eye on the Islamists, I haven’t forgotten that we’re waging our own battles here at home, with a Marxist president hellbent on his continuing project of “fundamentally transforming” a perfectly good America into something much less good. Over at the Watcher’s Council, the latest forum asks Council members to offer their predictions for the upcoming election. I think you’ll find the predictions fascinating. Council members are optimistic, although The Razor noted that the GOP has a knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I stayed out of this forum. When I get into the stock market it drops. When I get out, it skyrockets. And when I support a candidate, that candidate seems to lose. The less I predict about the election the better. If, however, you want detailed, and accurate, election information I recommend The Election Projection.

As the world becomes less stable, Rand Paul is a less viable presidential candidate

Bruce Kesler thinks it’s very important that people understand that, in a dangerous world, Rand Paul’s principled non-interventionism would put America at grave risk if he were president.

After all, as Jonah Goldberg says in  his excellent article about our coming long, long war with radical Islam, “The problem is the enemy always gets a vote.”  The fact that Paul’s principles tell him not to engage doesn’t mean the enemy isn’t hell-bent on engaging with us.

Free tampons!

Britain’s Guardian paper is reading my blog. A few weeks ago, I did this poster:

Important women's health costs

Now, the Guardian is running with this concept:

We need to move beyond the stigma of “that time of the month” – women’s feminine hygiene products should be free for all, all the time.

And some pictures

(With thanks to Caped Crusader)

Obama fundraiser

What do you mean by free palestine

Ludwig von Mises on liberals

Modern England increasingly Darwinian

The other day, the Daily Mail ran an article about the exponential increase in stranger attacks in England, a byproduct of the public drunkenness that is increasing at an even faster rate than the violence.  I still remember when England was a remarkably safe, clean little country, except in the worst neighborhoods of the biggest cities.  Now, there is no time and no place in England that isn’t as randomly violent as a Third World country or a predator-filled jungle.

If you live in this kind of jungle, it pays to be prepared.  So here is a satisfying story about a BBC reporter who, after patiently enduring verbal attacks from two drunken yobs, turned on the physicality when the yobs tried to throw a punch.  (Did I mention that the BBC reporter is a black belt?)

Increasingly, England looks like a Mad Max culture.  How sad.

BBC religious program to be headed by a Muslim

Right now, Church of England officials are upset that the BBC’s religious programming department (which is, apparently, a very important department) is going to be headed up by a practicing Muslim.  It is unclear whether he got the position as a result of political correctness or employment mandates, but there he is.  Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we’ll have to wait and see whether Aaqil Ahmed carries out his new assignment with admirable even handedness — or not.  One wonders, though, what recourse there will be if the latter proves to be the case.

False parallels

A TV movie remake of The Diary of Anne Frank can be a very good thing.  What sent shivers of fear up my spine about the latest version is the organization making the remake:  the BBC.  That can’t be a good thing can it?

Most of the article about the upcoming show makes it sound as if people with normal minds have been in charge of the production.  Instead of presenting Anne as a saint, which she was not, the show is going to present a high-spirited, “stroppy” teenager — which is very much the personality that comes through the pages, especially if you read the unexpurgated version of Anne’s diary.  Anne was a real girl, and her sufferings, both in the sensory deprivation of the attic and in the horrors of Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, happened to a real human being, not a plaster teen saint.

Given the generally positive tone about the production, why am I still worried?  I’m worried because a novelist named Deborah Moggach wrote the current adaption, and her comments show a morally equivalent world view that is frightening in its ignorance and implications:

Moggach believes the time is ripe for a new TV adaptation of the diary. “It’s now more timely than ever, not just because of rising anti-Semitism in eastern Europe, but because of growing prejudice throughout the world. [As it happens, there's surprisingly little antisemitism in Eastern Europe given its past. The real rise of antisemitism is in England, Europe and the Middle East, but perhaps Moggach's fails to mention the latter is explained by her next comment.] Anne could be a young girl in Gaza or Iraq today.  [Did you get that?  Gazan girls are raised to believe that Jews should be wiped off the face of the earth.  They live in a culture that encourages the rape and murder of Jewish women.  Gazans elected a government that has devoted itself to killing Jews.  After the Gazan government spent a year sponsoring thousands of missile attacks on Jews, Israel finally responded with carefully targeted attacks aimed at munitions locations and at spots in which militants can be found.  To the extent a Gazan girl was threatened, it was because her own government saw fit to place its munitions and fighters in her residential neighborhood precisely in order to ensure that the Gazan girl would be injured or killed for propaganda value.  For Moggach to compare a Gazan girl to Anne Frank and her situation is an insult and idiocy beyond belief.] Of course, she’d be writing it as a blog now.”

After reading that stupidity, it is somehow unsurprising to learn that Moggach at one time lived in Pakistan.  I suspect that, between England and Pakistan, her values system has been so perverted that she can no longer distinguish between good and evil.  Moggach seems to live in a morally equivalent world that sees only bombs and victims.  She lacks the ability to understand that sometimes good guys fire bombs and that sometimes bad guys are victims — and vice versa — and that you cannot equate people merely because each has had blood spilled.

Reading Moggach’s self-written bio, she sounds like a charming woman, and one who tries to be open-minded.  I just suspect that she’s so open-minded her brains might have fallen out.

And now for something completely different….

You all remember how, at the MTV awards, Russell Brand, a British comedian who was completely unknown to Americans went on a wild anti-Bush rant, with a few jabs at religious people, as well.  If you don’t recall, let me refresh your recollection:

If his aim was to be noticed by America, Russell Brand more than achieved his goal last night as he ranted that President Bush was a “retarded cowboy” while hosting the MTV awards.

The British comedian, who is a virtual unknown in America, left the crème of the music world stunned as he championed Barack Obama, ran down George Bush and made lewd jokes about the Christian pop band Jonas Brothers.

I’m happy to report that Russell Brand has finally gone just a wee bit too far, and he’s taken a chunk of the BBC down with him.  Here’s the story:

Jonathan Ross is a BBC radio host who pulls in a seven figure a year (in pounds) annual salary.  He had Russell Brand as a guest on his pre-recorded radio show.  Brand was also on the BBC pay roll, earning something in the low six figures (in pounds) annually.

These two boys arranged to have an interview with Andrew Sachs.  For those of you who are not afficienados of classic British comedy from the 1970s, this name may not mean anything to you.  But for anyone who has ever watched Fawlty Towers, you’ll instantly connect him with Manuel, the charmingly incompetent Spanish waiter, who never mastered English.

Andrew Sachs (who escaped Nazi Germany in 1938) is now a 78 year old man and, significantly for this story, a grandfather.  His granddaughter, who is a Goth performer, once dated Russell Brand.

Brand and Ross thought it would be too, too funny, as a sort of preparation for the Sachs interview, to call and leave a series of increasingly obscene messages on Sachs’ answering machine.  The BBC thought the messages were pretty damned funny, and allowed this pre-recorded show to be aired.  Here’s a taste of Brand’s and Ross’ humor:

Brand: I said Andrew Sachs! Look Andrew Sachs I have got respect for you and your lineage and your progeny, never let that be questioned.

Ross: Don’t hint.

Brand: I weren’t hinting! Why did that come across as a hint?

Ross: Because you know what you did.

Brand: That wasn’t a hint.

Ross: He f***ed your granddaughter! [laughter in the studio]

[snip]

Brand: [singing] I’d like to apologise for the terrible attacks, Andrew Sachs, I would like to show contrition to the max, Andrew Sachs. I would like to create world peace, between the yellow, white and blacks, Andrew Sachs, Andrew Sachs. I said something I didn’t have oughta, like I had sex with your granddaughter. But it was consensual and she wasn’t menstrual, it was consensual lovely sex. It was full of respect I sent her a text, I’ve asked her to marry me, Andrew Sachs.

Ross: This has made it worse, you have trivialised the whole incident.

Brand: Hang up, hang up! It’s trivialised it!

[snip]

Ross: No. I’ve got a better idea  –  let’s both put on striped shirts and break into his house, merely to delete the answerphone message  –  let’s see what happens. What could go wrong?

Brand: Nothing. Literally, nothing could go wrong as we smash our way into Andrew Sachs’s house.

Ross: No. No, we break in like cat burglars tonight when he’s in bed.

Brand: ‘Yes, while he sleeps.

Ross: …and go up to the pillow to kiss him to say sorry.
Brand: Kiss him up and down his body apologising, drench him in gin.

Ross: M********e him to say sorry. Make him feel better.

(bursts out laughing)

Brand: ‘So sorry, Andrew Sachs, this will make up for it. Go on finish it, into the palm of my hand. Good girl for uncle daddy, good girl for uncle daddy. (Laughs) There we go, what a show it’s been.

Ross: What’s that noise I hear? Ah, it’s a Sony Award coming your way.

Although Ross, Brand and the BBC standards department clearly thought this was good-humored fun for all, the British public, showing that all decency hasn’t been fully leeched away by a politically correct mindset that forces the abandonment of moral standards, went ballistic.  The BBC was deluged with more than 27,000 angry calls, letters and emails.  The Daily Mail (my favorite British rag) received over 5,500 emails on the subject, with more than 4,000 of them registering complaints.  You can get a taste of that here.

Even the BBC can’t withstand that kind of pressure (and that is a good reminder for those of us contemplating the coming “bipartisan” era of a completely Democratic government that may not be subject to any Republican braking mechanisms, such as filibusters.)  Heads have begun rolling:  Russell Brand has resigned, Jonathan Ross’s job is on the line (and the complaints against him are in full flood), and the BBC has been publicly exposed (again) as a moral vacuum.

But even that’s not the worst of it.  The worst of it is that Sachs’ granddaughter has delivered the ultimate insult:

In a frank interview with The Sun, Miss Baillie described how Brand was a flop in the bedroom, despite his reputation as a lothario.

Revealing that she slept with the star after their ‘lavish’ first date, she said: ‘ I’m not going to go into detail about what happened there although I’m obviously no shrinking violet.

‘I will only say he’s a disappointment in the bedroom considering he has had so much practice’.

She also said that Brand was ‘clean freak’ and would ask her to use mouthwash before she kissed him.

The details of the affair will heap more public humiliation on Brand, who has always been proud of his ladies’ man image.

Remember, folks:  In the entertainment world, you can do drugs (as Brand did), you can get arrested, you can solicit sex from prostitutes, you can insult America, you can have a completely psychotic episode — and you will be the recipient of tearful support from everyone, including Oprah.  But you can’t be bad in bed!  In an industry completely founded on sexuality, the discovery that Brand is a failure in the bedroom is the ultimate ignominy.  He’s through, folks.

How to say “I’m a coward” in 98 words

The director of the BBC has finally admitted that, yes, of course the BBC treats Islam with unusual deference.  Mark Thompson offers a 98 word defense of the BBC’s un-evenhanded approach:

‘My view is that there is a difference between the position of Christianity, which I believe should be central to the BBC’s religion coverage and widely respected and followed.

‘What Christian identity feels like to the broad population is a little bit different to people for whom their religion is also associated with an ethnic identity which has not been fully integrated.

‘There’s no reason why any religion should be immune from discussion, but I don’t want to say that all religions are the same. To be a minority I think puts a slightly different outlook on it.’

Right.

Ben Elton, a comedian who took umbrage at the BBC’s oh-so-PC censorship, had a different take on the matter (emphasis mine):

‘I think it all starts with people nodding whenever anybody says, ‘As a person of faith …’,’ he said.

‘And I believe that part of it is due to the genuine fear that the authorities and the community have about provoking the radical elements of Islam,” he said.

‘There’s no doubt about it, the BBC will let vicar gags pass but they would not let imam gags pass. They might pretend that it’s, you know, something to do with their moral sensibilities, but it isn’t. It’s because they’re scared. I know these people.’

It’s not the story; it’s the story about the story

Honest Reporting captured the first spin that the BBC put on the terrible story of the latest massacre in Israel (a Palestinian versus Israelis, of course) — and, as always, it was Israel who was spun as the brutal aggressor.  Orwell clearly understood something in the British psyche when he wrote 1984 — or, more accurately, he understood how socialism has always recognized that facts are meaningless, and outcomes are everything.

Autres temps, autres moeurs

I watched a pretty good movie last night, that was very pro-military; that showed the Iraqi military as being inefficient; and that showed Iraqis as being unbelievably brutal, both in terms of mob violence and in terms of the military’s and the secret police’s capacity for sadistic torture.  Surprisingly, it was made by the BBC.

Okay, now I’ll let you in on a few secrets to explain this weird anomaly, which has the BBC making a pro-military, anti-Iraqi movie.  It’s all in the timing.  The movie was Bravo Two Zero, and it was made in 1999 about an SAS unit that got trapped behind enemy lines during the first Gulf War, in 1991.  In other words, before fanatical Bush Derangement Syndrome took over the world, it was okay to concede that the Iraqis were capable of gross brutality and that Western military service could be carried out by honorable and humane men.

As it’s based on a true story, it’s a worthwhile movie for the Gitmo, waterboarding and Abu Ghraib crowd to watch, if only to get a sense of perspective.