Thursday, January 05, 2006

Down the Rabbit Hole, Through the Looking Glass, Outside of Kansas

From Newsweek:

Doesn't the fact that newspapers need to be bribed in order to print factually correct stories that suggest something more positive than the "colossal failure" in Iraq Jonathan Alter describes confirm the liberal media bias?

Um, no.

...liberals have not come up with an answer for suicide bombers and the Islamic extremists who have no interest in Western values of tolerance, women's rights, democracy and freedom of expression.

-Neal Simpson (via internet)

I would suggest that the reason liberals haven't come up with an "answer" for suicide bombers is because there is no "answer." At least, not in the way Mr. Simpson seems to want.

You might as well ask why no one's come up with the "answer" to the problem of racism. Or poverty. Or elitism. Or reality television.

And, oh yes. Those marvelous values we Westerners possess.

Such as tolerance.

And women's rights.

And democracy.

And freedom of expression.

America is a wonderful country, but we're as human as anyone else, and just as prone to the trampling of our own values as we are to having those values trampled upon by others.

That said, here's some good news for Mr. Simpson:

Defying the state’s governor, the Rhode Island House of Representatives yesterday voted 59–13 to override the veto of a medical marijuana legalization measure approved earlier this year. In so doing, the nation’s smallest state joined ten others in bucking the federal government’s Supreme Court-backed prohibition against using the plant even for medicinal purposes.

And you know that no one paid to put that story in the news. The potheads are too lazy to be that proactive, anyway.


At 11:49 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Tolerance is over rated as is the idea of women voting. They just vote the same as their husbands anyway, right?

At 12:25 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

They do if they KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR THEM.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

"America is a wonderful country, but we're as human as anyone else, and just as prone to the trampling of our own values as we are to having those values trampled upon by others." -Codemorse

This, my friend, is where you kill me every time. It's moral relativism run amok.

This fight against "suicide bombers" isn't simply a battle between those who vary, merely by a difference in degree, in their approach to human rights, democracy, and the freedom of expression.

Can we please agree, that while not perfect, there is something inherently different from American society that (aside from the random ramblings of Jerry Fallwell and the FRC) has several primetime television shows affirmatively and positively featuring gay life; and that of a society (like that of the Taliban), that buried gay people alive as an official policy?

I mean, this difference in tolerance isn't merely a difference in degree, it's a difference in kind. Namely, that one society is substantially more tolerant of gay life (which is the link you made under "tolerance") than that of the purported suicide bomber. I don't think we're to the point of patting ourselves on the back, but let's not kid ourselves that America is merely a relatively progressive Taliban.

I really hope that it doesn't need to be said that women's rights vary substantially between America (at least within the last century), and the world of the suicide bomber.

Mark Steyn wrote on the subject: "Under the Taliban, women were prevented by law from ever feeling sunlight on their faces. Following the country's liberation by right-wing patriarchs like Bush and Blair, there are now, as Linda Frum noted here the other week, more females in electoral politics in Afghanistan than in Canada...As Ahmad al-Baqer, an MP from one of the more progressive Muslim nations (Kuwait), breezily put it, nixing a proposal to give broads the right to vote, 'God said in the holy Koran that men are better than women. Why can't we settle for that?' Why indeed?"

And let's not get into Zarqawi's (hero to the suicide bomber) war on the "evil ... Democracy." This guy, whose idea for a good time is to cut off the head of the infidel, is hardly a George Bush gone overboard.

America may not be perfect. But let's maintain some semblance of perspective to be able to determine where womens' rights, democracy, and tolerance are really in jeopardy.

At 6:58 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

With due respect, I think that in this case it's you who's lost some perspective. When I say that America has its flaws, I'm not excusing suicide bombing with moral relativism. I'm rhetorically explaining to Mr. Simpson that Western values, no matter how inherently noble (as I believe, very strongly, American values are) are still subject to perversion, equivocation, and hypocrisy.

What tends to power my opinions is NOT a sense that morality is totally subjective, but that no government or people is inherently moral. Just because we're Western doesn't mean that we're infallible. I don't see that as "relativism," I see it as "realism."

By linking to the issues of gay rights, women's rights, and the idea of the "Imperial Presidency," I'm not equating them with suicide bombers, I'm pointing to real, valid instances where what we say and what we do are separate things. My comments were in no way intended to reach the "world of the suicide bomber," only to remind Mr. Simpson, and myself, that while our values - the ones we strive to live up to - are noble, there is still work to be done here, in the West.

You've taken my words and extrapolated them outward to a degree that my words were never intended to reach.

At 7:29 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

And a good day to you, sir!!!

At 9:08 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

I say to you, Good day! :)

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Hee hee.


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