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    Eric is hot when he gets angry.

    He, Tim Noah, Clayton Cramer, and Radley Balko have amply attended to most of what’s inane about Dinesh D’Souza’s characteristically coarse arguments. I will only add that if the combination of irreligiousness, acceptance of homosexuality, blithe rearing of children out of wedlock, and preening leftism in the universities is what exercised the terrorists who attacked on 9/11, one is left wondering why on Earth they didn’t choose Europe (say the Netherlands or somewhere in Scandinavia) as their target. Not only have those countries institutionalized those social phenomena far more thoroughly than America has, but they also have large minority Muslim populations that are inflamed with humiliation over their dependence on the largesse of the social-welfare state. The United States is clearly the single most significant global symbol of Western cultural power; the idea that it’s the most significant global symbol of Western cultural leftism strikes me as very suspect.

    5 Responses to “Gaucherie”

    1. Robohobo says:

      I try to follow the link from Aizu and get:

      “You don’t have permission to access /archives/004439.html on this server.

      Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.”

      This has happened when trying to get to several sites from here. And who says the Japanese don’t censure? I don’t. One site is American Digest. Gerard van der Leun is about as Libertarian as you can get. Who knew?

      But, d’Souza makes a cogent argument. At least as cogent as those who claim it is because we are too conservative. How’s about it’s because their prophet says they are to rule the world? Naw, couldn’t be.

      “Q.3: 118-120

      O you who believe! Take not as (your) bitaanah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends, etc.) those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made clear to you the aayaat (proofs, evidence, verses), if you understand. Lo! You are the ones who love them but they love you not, and you believe in all the Scriptures [i.e., you believe in the Tawraat and the Injeel, while they disbelieve in your Book (the Qur’an)]. And when they meet you, they say, ‘We believe.’ But when they are alone, they bite the tips of their fingers at you in rage. Say: ‘Perish in your rage. Certainly Allah knows what is in the breasts (all the secrets).’ If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it”

      ad nauseum….

    2. Maria says:

      Wow, Robohobo, I have to admit I have not cracked open the Koran (sp). But, that passage reminds me a lot of the Old Testament…

    3. Sean Kinsell says:


      When you try to get to Eric’s site from Firefox, you sometimes get an error message. I’ve been riding him about that for a few months, but I’ll let him know it’s happening again.

      As far as D’Souza’s arguments go, I find him much like Ann Coulter: Yeah, the actual point he’s trying to make is usually, at root, a good one. I just don’t find that his particular hyperbolic style (or hers) adds much of value.

      I think it’s very much worth noting that the more honey-tongued diplomats from conservative Islamic societies–along with, of course, the leaders of conservative Islamic groups in the West–have adopted the buzzwords of social-democratic feel-goodism. You know, “respect for cultural differences” and “Western imperialism” invoked as slick ways of dressing up their own repressive, illiberal government structures.

      Leftists who prate about diversity need to take a good hard look at reality and contribute to a meaningful discussion of the limits of tolerance in the real world, where there are some applied philosophies that simply make it impossible for us to live with each other. (Yes, I know, I’m indulging in fantasy here. My first latte hasn’t kicked in yet.) But that is not, by any account, the argument that D’Souza is making. The argument he‘s making is that hard-line Islamic animus is provoked by all the elements of Western society that he and his fellow travelers themselves just happen not to like. How very convenient.


      And, heaven knows, we were fed enough OT growing up, huh? (Maria and I were reared in the same fundamentalist Christian sect. Like the Seventh Day Adventists, but less fun.)

    4. Connie says:

      It’s too bad D’Souza took this approach. I found the (same) argument quite thought provoking in his “What’s So Great About America.” He seems to have regurgitated it in the latest book, only he took off the gloves.

      Now being someone who likes the gloves off…

      …Sorry, momentary lapse.

      The argument is an interesting one, but it is much deeper than the intentionally agitated packaging.

      Question: If all the prohibitions of society are removed, what will that society look like? Does it demonstrate that it is a moral/just society, or does it dissolve into something like Sodom and Gomorrah?

      There are sub questions, such as man’s ability to resist temptation, the proper response in a moral/just society to those who are in the business of providing temptation, etc.

      D’Souza’s argument is that America is a virtuous society, not because it looks that way from the outside, but because with all of the flavor du jour of debauchery, some folks choose otherwise. That is the true test and demonstrative of virtue: Not the absence of the choice of debauchery (ie, sin) but the ability to turn away from it when it is an option.

      I think, when we strip away the incendiaries from D’Souza’s style, it is a valid point. Now what he chose to do in this book was expand on that argument. How did we get to be a society that is perceived as lauding sin?

      I think that is a valid point.

      Conservatives (like myself) argue for choice, but at the same time demand that bad choices are not lauded or repackaged as something good. All choices are not good, but choice itself is good. Further, that you take the full boat… that is, if you choose badly, you not only get saddled with the consequences, but all of the associated crap. So, do whatever you want, but know that you are responsible for the outcome. There is no safety net.

      So conservatives were willing to remove some of the disincentives for making bad choices, but the Left didn’t end their demands. It went from “people SHOULD be able to do whatever they want” to the added suffix, “…and everything people want or do is good, because you can’t make value judgments on behavior… ever.” The Left has never quite gotten the difference between judging people as bad vs judging behavior as bad.

      The Left argues FOR safety nets. They see folks like me (or D’Souza) arguing that we should remove choice. That’s not it at all. What we’re saying is that some of those choices are bad… we’ve actually made a value judgment (GASP!) and have history/facts/evidence on our side. We’re not trying to take away choice (by making it illegal). The only thing that we demand of our government is that we don’t provide a safety net for the outcome of bad decisions.

      So, get pregnant by the idiot next door. Go right ahead! We’re not going to arrest you or the guy who participated in the conception. But, we’re also not going to chase him down to pay child support, buy the food for the child you decided to conceive, fund through our tax dollars your palimony suit, or put you through college because you now have a mouth to feed and can’t do it on McDonald’s wages. You and your child are going to suffer for the consequences because without those consequences, there is no reason (no carrot) to behaving responsibly. Further, we’re not going to twist history and the facts to make it appear that it is society’s fault for you deciding to conceive a child you have no ability to support and raise, or that it was some sort of male dominated/oppressive society that created this idea of family, and that’s old fashioned. The new family is the village, and we all have to support that child (and its idiot mother).

      D’Souza says (badly) that the Islamic Fundamentalists see our society and see us as depraved and lauding depravity. They think the presence of sin means that we are advocates for sin. And, D’Souza is probably (somewhat) justified in suggesting that the Left (whoever they are) does advocate for sin, under the guise of “do whatever you feel like doing… there are no consequences.”

      This is terribly difficult for fundamentalists from the outside to grasp. All they see is the outcome, and they don’t like what they see. (I don’t like it either a lot of the time, but the alternative is worse). Fundamentalists believe that if folks are going to always choose badly, then we have to protect them from themselves and eliminate (through law) the choice to be bad… and we end up at the same thing the Left is trying to do. They, too, want to fiddle with the data and the reality. Unlike the fundies who want to remove choice, the Left wants to change the definitions and make the bad good.

      Double unbad.

      And why, if this is more pervasive in Europe, do the terrorists attack America instead of Europe? That’s easy. We make better TV and commercials.

    5. Sean Kinsell says:

      See, Connie, I don’t find D’Souza all that interesting because, while I tend to agree with the substance of his arguments, I find that his tendentiousness actually makes them less illuminating than they would otherwise be. A provocateur can add some fun to otherwise-listless social-policy arguments, but I don’t find that D’Souza succeeds at that. I agree with you, though, obviously.

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