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January 12, 2015

Comments

These Charlie Hebdo cartoons would be laughed off as practically PG if the target weren't Islam.

(...)

It leads people to think, "Sure, they shouldn't kill the cartoonists, but they WERE provoked.", when the 'provocation' was laughably trivial.

Which is it? Are the cartoons PG, but for the Islam, or are they assumed to be worse than they really are because they're so hard to find? Are these two different audiences you speak of? How big are they? (Are they just two different shades of liberals who love them some Muslims but not Jews and Christians?)

They're denying us context by doing this.

The cartoons etc are available, widely. Nobody has been denied anything.

Nigel:

"'Outrage' is putting it a little too strongly; disappointment maybe."

Wrong - google it. Of course, 'outrage' is the normal setting for these people.

"I suggest he might have sent Joe Biden - no one could have taken offense at that."

Assumes facts not only not in evidence, but contradicted by *all* facts over the past six years.

Please bookmark these articles. Years from now, you can reminisce "hey, remember that time when the US right-wingers wanted to avoid insulting the French? Good times, good times"

Then have some heart-clogging Camembert and a nice Bordeaux.

"Morally repugnant my ass."

I described one of the cartoons upthread--no doubt someone will claim "context" renders its message the exact opposite of what it says, but what it depicts is an obvious fundamentalist being shot through a Koran saying "The Koran is sh**. It doesn't stop bullets." This was apparently a response to the massacre of peaceful Muslim Brotherhood protestors after the Egyptian military toppled the Morsi regime. One can despise the Muslim Brotherhood and still find this humorous depiction of mass murder morally repugnant. The site where I saw this (and I will post another link in a later post) puts a parody next to it showing a cartoonist being shot through "Charlie Hebdo" saying the same thing. Now the second cartoon was meant to ridicule the first, on the principle that nothing is sacred. I think it made a good point, though taken out of context it could be made to sound like applause for the murder of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. In fact, I'm not completely sure that wasn't part of the message. And that's the problem with this kind of satire--when you sink this low it can be difficult to tell the intent. And the cartoonists who do this sort of work have to know this. At any rate, unless I'm told otherwise, I'm going to assume that Charlie Hebdo meant to ridicule the Muslim Brotherhood protestors--their hatred of Islam and religion is so great it led them to dehumanize massacre victims. The second cartoon (showing a cartoonist being murdered) should only be shown next to the first, to make clear what it is about. But I'm not sure the message of the second cartoon is only to make a sound moral point.

I also still think people should be able to draw morally repugnant cartoons without fear of being shot.

As for the childish insults to various religions, again people should have the right to do this. I don't have to applaud. Contrary to the Hebdo defenders, I find it very hard to believe you can engage in that kind of satire for a long period of time without it morphing into something resembling bigotry against the religious believers. There is also some question as to whether Charlie Hebdo really did insult all religions equally. One claim I saw yesterday is that when they ridiculed Israel, they did it with a cartoon showing how Israel's behavior contradicts the Torah. When they ridiculed Muslims, they made it seem like atrocities were part of what Islam taught. The truth is that like all religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism can be made to justify atrocities, or compassion, or some weird mixture of compassion in some cases and atrocities in others. And no, Muslims are not the only people nowadays who use their ideology (I'm going to broaden this) to justify atrocities. Christians, Muslims, Jews and also secular upholders of Western values can all take their core principles and turn them into an excuse for murder.

Here are the two cartoons I was talking about--

link

And here's a link to a former employee of Charlie Hebdo (who quit in 2001) who thinks it was Islamophobic. The piece was written in 2013.

link

FWIW, there's a response by their religion editor linked at the end of the piece lj posted above. It bordered on "yes, we're categorically anti-Islam, and if you weren't an awful person you would be too!", though they went to the trouble of dressing that up in respectable leftist anti-totalitarianism.

Maybe that's not dressing it up. Maybe that's respectable anti-totalitarianism not suffering from Stockholm syndrome or mindless multi-culturalism.

Brett, had you read it, you'd know the context a bit better. The author and (circa 2013; dunno if she still is) CH's religion editor is an atheistic political refugee from Morroco who essentially describes Islam as being utterly inseparable from totalitarianism because it's advocated by totalitarian regimes, and offers as a defense against charges of Islamaphobic racism the cutting observation that Islam is not a race, and to charges of coded racism, or useful idiocy, that no, those aren't possible because Islam is really bad, and bad people support it. Oh, and she makes it personal, a lot.

I deprive her of her grace and nuance by summing up so brutally, but when you tease the various bits apart, it's by all appearances traditional leftist French anti-clericism holding hands with leftist anti-totalitarianism - and for that matter it's not really "free" from the "taint" of multiculturalism aside from its anti-Islamist bent. Indeed, to the contrary, she goes out of her way to seek to refute such notions, so I fear hers is not the pure and pristine Truth you want to hold up to ward off liberal delusions.

"who essentially describes Islam as being utterly inseparable from totalitarianism because it's advocated by totalitarian regimes,"

The utter and complete absence of even so much as one majority Muslim state that is, not even a liberal democracy, but even moderately free, does somewhat argue for this position.

"and offers as a defense against charges of Islamaphobic racism the cutting observation that Islam is not a race"

What can I say to this, but QED?

It seems to me that you've just, albiet perjoritively, described a crushing case against your own position, and then assumed that to have stated it was to refute it.

Let's see. Islam was founded (by Mohammed; not their theological version of when the religion started) in the early 600s AD. So 1400 years ago.

1400 years after Christianity was founded there were how many Christian majority states which were liberal democracies? The Protestant Reformation, with its impact on the Church and state, was another century in the future.

So hard to argue that, on the evidence so far, one religion is compatible with liberal democracy and the other is not. You can make an even better case that either one takes 1500+ years to get there.

It seems to me that you've just, albiet perjoritively, described a crushing case against your own position, and then assumed that to have stated it was to refute it.

It seems to me that you're arguing with someone outside of this thread.

Oh, and that you've also assumed that to blithely ignore the remaining third of the sentence you quoted was to refute it.

OTOH, I probably should have gone with "banal" instead of "cutting" to properly express why I felt contempt for that expansive portion of her reply (between 1/4 and 1/3 of the 3600-ish words therein, depending on where you draw the lines), but your ridiculous attempt to cram - sight unseen, when even a cursory reading would have precluded such folly - left-wing French cultural politics into a pat little right-wing American cultural pigeonhole annoyed me and upped the snideness in my reply.

The utter and complete absence of even so much as one majority Muslim state that is, not even a liberal democracy, but even moderately free, does somewhat argue for this position.

Indonesia.

1400 years after Christianity was founded there were how many Christian majority states which were liberal democracies?

and until the end of WWI, you could count the number of democracies on two hands.

So, rather than liberal multi-culturalists considering the cartoons offensive because they ridicule Islam, as opposed to some other more ridicule-worthy religion, Brett is now claiming they're okay because they target Islam, as opposed to some other religion, since Islam is so worthy of ridicule.

Can we make a hierarchy of "worthy of ridicule" religions? Because they all look pretty stupid from the outside, but I think you'd still have to rank Scientology much more "worthy" than (say) Buddhism.

Or is it the practitioners of a religion that earn the ridicule? That would get some "snake handling/faith healing/speaking in tongues" types higher in the rankings, even if the underlying theology is kinda "meh".

Perhaps it's just my lack of familiarity, but oddly enough, I've never heard of "poisonous snake handling" being a popular religious activity in Australia.

The utter and complete absence of even so much as one majority Muslim state that is, not even a liberal democracy, but even moderately free, does somewhat argue for this position.

Indonesia? Pakistan? Tunisia? Malaysia?

Snarki: Can we make a hierarchy of "worthy of ridicule" religions?

No. Well ... maybe. It depends on who "we" is.

If "we" means "us liberal multi-culturalists" I don't think a hierarchy of ridicule-worthiness is intellectually honest. Islam is exactly as worthy of ridicule as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Mormonism, or Sientology.

"Exactly as", I said. In my humble opinion, it goes without saying.

--TP

The utter and complete absence of even so much as a hint of knowledge of the subject matter Brett's posts rather tiresome and superfluous:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country

Yeah, sort that list by percentage of Muslims. How far down it do you have to go, to find a reasonably free country? By which I mean, not that Muslims who want to stay Muslims are reasonably free, but countries with minimal religious liberty, for instance.

Yeah, you post stuff that proves her case, and think you've refuted it.

"Indonesia? Pakistan? Tunisia? Malaysia?"

Malaysia? Where if you're an ethnic Malay you're legally mandated to be a Suni Muslim? Where if you want to convert from Islam, the case automatically goes to a Sharia court?

Tunisia? Listed as "Not free" by Freedom House?

Pakistan? Where roving mobs burn the homes of Christians? Where members of a Muslim sect which rejects the idea of violent Jihad are legally barred from calling themselves Muslims, or their churches "mosques"?

Indonesia? I'll grant, they're rated "partly free", because religious persecution is technically illegal, merely subject to the authorities refusing to prosecute the people doing it.

Seriously, you aren't even trying, are you? You just named four random countries, without even checking to see if they'd qualify as free.

Tunisia? Listed as "Not free" by Freedom House?

Listed as "Partially Free" with 3 on all three indices. Keep up, Brett.

But since you like this criteria so much, how about Senegal? 95% Muslim, and rated as "free" (2/2/2) by FH?

Hell, your original criteria was "but even moderately free", so let's add Albania (82%, "partially free" at 3/3/3). Turkey should probably be mentioned, too - it's a nation with many problems, but recall that a lot of its problems with "freedom" originate in its defiantly-secular military, and problems or no, it has a strong (albeit far from perfect) democratic tradition.

This isn't exactly the proof of her point you'd like to think it is, and it's absolutely not proof of your much broader point.

Also, you're getting far too much unearned credit here. Correlation is not causation. Islam is a religion whose majority states are almost exclusively in the Third World, which might possibly be a factor in why they tend to be more authoritarian states than not. IOW, they're states that for the most part had up until the prior century been ruled directly or indirectly by foreign, oppressive Christian states that used divide and rule to maintain their power and in some cases (*cough* Iran *cough*) explicitly overthrew the democratic government whose absence now so vexes you.

This is a wee bit more complicated than your facile explanation would imply.

Yeah, Pakistan, where Asia Bibi has just had her death sentence upheld. Lovely example of the ability of freedom and Muslim populations to co-exist.

Yeah, correlation is not causation, but as XKCD says, "Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there." That's an awfully strong correlation to just laugh off.

"Turkey should probably be mentioned, too - it's a nation with many problems, but recall that a lot of its problems with "freedom" originate in its defiantly-secular military,"

Or maybe the freedom itself derives from that defiantly secular military refusing to give the populace the religious oppression they demand.

You really need to face the fact that the case for Islam being compatible with a free society is awfully weak. Laughably weak, I'd say.

not only are the goalposts on wheels, they change shape and size depending on the ball.

You need to face the fact that you haven't even tried to make the case that it's not - you've just waggled your eyebrows suggestively at a large number of nations in the global south - many with equally-oppressive Christian-majority neighbors - and nudged us in the ribs while going "Eh? Eh?"

Again, correlation is not causation, and no amount of pithy platitudes can change that. If you have a case to make, make it.

And while you're at it, please do one of your sweeping dismissals explaining how the example of Senegal really shows Islam is incompatible with an "even moderately free" society - and heck, throw in Albania and Tunisia too.

At least Islam is compatible with algebra.

"At least Islam is compatible with algebra."

I'm not sure this adds up.

Brett: ...the case for Islam being compatible with a free society is awfully weak.

One problem with this statement is that it seems to single Islam out from among the major religions.

The case for religion being compatible with a free society is awfully weak. What made the "Christian" nations into fairly free societies was the gradual withering away of religion as a social force. It wasn't any sort of moral or theological superiority of Christianity.

Islam is different from Christianity, as any serious Muslim or serious Christian will tell you. Islam is NOT different from Christianity, many Muslims, Christians, and secular multi-culturalists will tell you. What is an honest atheist supposed to make of THAT?

--TP

Seriously, you aren't even trying, are you? You just named four random countries, without even checking to see if they'd qualify as free.

Well, I must admit I really wasn't. After all, I was responding to your initial claim, not the current one with the mysteriously missing modifier. But if you want to demonstrate how ridiculous my answer is to an entirely different question, well I can't stop you.

"Where members of a Muslim sect which rejects the idea of violent Jihad are legally barred from calling themselves Muslims, or their churches "mosques"?"

https://www.aclu.org/maps/map-nationwide-anti-mosque-activity

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/16/1358192/-How-Duke-University-was-pressured-into-bigotry-against-Islam-and-its-700-Muslim-students

it's so nice to live in America where none of our laws are based on the collected myths of stone-age sheep herders, and there isn't a loud faction of people who insist that what this country really needs is to have even more of those beliefs turned into law, and where an oath of office isn't assumed to be invalid if not taken on a Bible, and there isn't an all volunteer army of people who harass (or even murder) people who don't agree, and where being an atheist gets you more than 4% of the vote.

It is indeed nice to live in America, where you won't be executed if you attempt to change religions, where arson against churches is not routinely ignored by police, and so forth. Unlike almost every majority Muslim nation.

The level of self deception necessary to pretend that Islam doesn't have a big, big problem in this regard is staggering.

"The level of self deception necessary to pretend that Islam doesn't have a big, big problem in this regard is staggering."

Strawman alert. Is there someone here who denies that there are massive human rights problems in many Muslim countries? I'd be happy to talk (or more likely listen) to serious discussion of these issues, but not from the Islamophobic morons on both right and left (thinking of Bill Maher there, so no, sapient, if you happen to be reading, I don't mean every liberal that I disagree with about, say, drone strikes). It's obvious that there are people who leap on the crimes of a particular faction because they hate that faction, and not because they care about human rights. Orwell's "Notes on Nationalism" is the definitive essay on that sort of person. Islamophobes are obviously the kind of people he was describing. And yes, if you look hard enough you can find a few people on the far far left who really do minimize or even excuse Islam-inspired massacres.

"Is there someone here who denies that there are massive human rights problems in many Muslim countries?"

No, they mostly just deny that it has anything to do with them being Muslim countries. Having lived close to Dearborn for many years, I find it difficult to accept that. I don't think that it's just coincidence that virtually every Muslim country is a civil liberties nightmare. I think it's something about Islam.

I think it's something about Islam.

Review the slaughter that took place in Reformation Europe. Does that say something about Christianity?

Observe the current de facto oppression of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Does that say something about Judaism?

Gaze in wonder at the ravings of Tom Cruise and Greta Van Susteren. Do we condemn Scientology as a result?

The level of self deception necessary to pretend that Islam doesn't have a big, big problem in this regard is staggering.

you should probably prove that. prove the problem is with Islam and not with the politics and borders and economics that have been imposed upon Islamic countries.

and you should probably take into account the effects of everybody's best friend, Saudi Arabia. because it's been busy exporting fundamentalism and theocracy (and the guns and money to enforce them) for decades while the west said "meh, just keep the oil flowing. why should we care?" terrorism isn't an Islamic disease, it's something Islamic countries are currently infected with.

unless, do you think Ireland was Islamic throughout the last half of the 1900s ? how about the spate of bombings in the early 1900s in the US - Islamic ? Eric Rudolph, Islamic? Sheik Unabomber? is the KKK an Islamic organization?

Gaze in wonder at the ravings of Tom Cruise and Greta Van Susteren. Do we condemn Scientology as a result?

Let me rethink that one a bit.....

also, historically and according to its own scriptures, Islam itself is as tolerant of other religions as Christianity is. what isn't tolerant of other religions is fundamentalist Islam, specifically, the flavor of intolerant Islam propagated and cultivated by the Saudis.

Just as a reminder, this is what Brett originally said:

The utter and complete absence of even so much as one majority Muslim state that is, not even a liberal democracy, but even moderately free, . . .

Still stand by that, Brett?

If not, kindly STFU.

"No, they mostly just deny that it has anything to do with them being Muslim countries."

Oh, bull. Who would deny that the human rights violations in various Muslim countries often stem from some interpretation of Islam? What you are trying to do is argue something well beyond that. The fact is that there is something in almost any religion or ideology that can be used to justify atrocities of one form or another. Self-proclaimed defenders of Western ideals are not immune to this, and obviously the universal claims of the validity of our ideals lend themselves to abuse that way. But I'm not going to stop donating to HRW or Amnesty International because people use the notion of human rights to justify unjust wars.

"Still stand by that, Brett?"

Mostly. You've managed to identify a Muslim country where the oppression is largely informal, I'll grant you that. This is like somebody disputing that something is a disease, because somebody somewhere got a mild case of it, and it was merely "almost" everybody who croaked.

So Senegal is oppressive, but only largely informal in its oppression? That does explain the scathing 2014 State Department report on Senegalese religious freedom:

Section III. Status of Societal Respect for Religious FreedomShare

There were reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.

In January unidentified vandals broke into a Christian chapel in Darou Khoudos about 50 miles away from the capital and overturned liturgical objects. Police opened an investigation into the incident. By year’s end the police had not reported results from the investigation.

If you're too lazy to read the whole report, that one line, describing exactly one incident, is the only negative thing State had to say about religious freedom in Senegal in 2013. They had some other negative things to say about them in terms of general civil and political freedom, but for a third-world country they're not awful - and they're doing better than us on some items State identified.

Is it perfect? Hell no. Is it worthy of your mealy-mouthed "largely informal[ly oppressive]" declaration? Well, to the degree that it's oppressive, yes. But how oppressive is that again, Brett? How exactly? And your sly little disease analogy doesn't hold in any case, because your correlation that you want to be synonymous with causation is rather depending on your incompatibility claims holding. Because if it's possible for a nation to have an open, pluralistic society while having a near-100% Muslim population, then it literally can't be the case that your simple, pat theory that Muslim-majority states are repressive because they're Muslim-majority states is correct. Period, full stop. If it's possible for a near-100% Muslim state to be an open democracy, then it can't be that having an Islamic majority causes totalitarianism. Which was your blithe claim upthread. Which you still "mostly" stand by, despite the fact that your correlation - which is all you've offered as "proof" - is accompanied by a counterexample. Correlation is only able to waggle its eyebrows and point when nothing is standing there glowering at it and yelling "That's not so!"; at that point you need to actually show causation or shut the hell up.

There's more at work than simple religious demography, as I and others have (cursorily) pointed out. The stubborn insistence with which you continue to shift your goalposts so as to be able to claim that there isn't in the face of countervailing facts is a depressing thing to behold.

*scathing 2013 report

"The stubborn insistence with which you continue to shift your goalposts so as to be able to claim that there isn't in the face of countervailing facts is a depressing thing to behold."

It's terrible how unquestioning belief can rot a mind.

"then it literally can't be the case that your simple, pat theory that Muslim-majority states are repressive because they're Muslim-majority states is correct. Period, full stop"

Well, oddly, in the middle of a pretty well framed argument this statement literally isn't accurate. It doesn't have to be true, but one exception doesn't mean it can't be true in the other cases.

You've managed to identify a Muslim country where the oppression is largely informal, I'll grant you that.

So Brett, are you saying that, in this definitively not Muslim-majority country, there is not informal oppression? Expect people to remember that, the next time you go off about how the (Federal) government is oppressing you on some issue. Just a thought.

Marty: "Well, oddly, in the middle of a pretty well framed argument this statement literally isn't accurate. It doesn't have to be true, but one exception doesn't mean it can't be true in the other cases."

Utter nonsense. Or, to quote Brett Bellmore, "utter and complete" nonsense. And you endorse it.

It is hardly a "well-framed argument" if it is based on absolute statements that the author later weasels away from. His absolute statement is absolutely refuted by even a single exception, not to mention the several other cases that would certainly qualify by most standards as meeting his "moderately free" criterion.

And yet you defend it.

If you want to initiate a thread on the problems of integrating Islam and democracy - problems which both politicians and scholars in states such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Tunisia, etc. have been wrestling with for years - then go to it.

Just don't nail your flag into the shifting sands of Brett's absolutist rhetoric, or you'll get nothing but instant refutation of this nonsense.

(I suppose you might think that you go into debate with the allies you have, not the allies you wish you had. Even so . . .)

I'm sure that Brett's extensive travels in Islam majority countries, his countless hours of discussions with muslims as well as his knowledge of Arabic make him qualified to make the absolute statements that he does.

Well, oddly, in the middle of a pretty well framed argument this statement literally isn't accurate. It doesn't have to be true, but one exception doesn't mean it can't be true in the other cases.

I completely agree that this should be an overstatement, but Brett was extremely categorical when we first set off on this winding digression. By a sensible standard, you're absolutely right that literally would be an ill-chosen word. Brett had, however, taken the tack of being equally categorical and had declared that Islam is so incompatible with freedom that not even one somewhat free example could be found to have resisted its pernicious influence. So by that ridiculously narrow standard espoused by "if a state is a Muslim-majority state, then it is oppressive", or words to that effect, one counterexample is all that's needed to shoot down the argument - modus tollens and all that. Hence, literally.

I suppose this comes down to whether we're understanding at the overbroad rule as being "for all states S, if S is Muslim-majority, then S is oppressive" (MM(S)->O(S)) or "for all states S, if S is oppressive and S is Muslim majority, then S is oppressive because S is Muslim-majority" ((O(S) && MM(S))->(MM(S)->O(S))). I did not get the sense, however, that Brett was going with the more-complicated latter conception given his fervent denial that there was an S such that MM(S) && ~O(S) (which yes, I know is just restating the first formulation, but that's the point...)

The US government can lock up US citizens forever without charge, heck, they can have US citizens killed based on nothing but name calling.

Given that, I really have no idea how the US can be considered a free country - and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

And in France last week more than 50 people have been arrested for "defending terror", so everybody should be very quiet about "free speech" - the hypocrisy is breathtaking.

http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/01/14/france-arrests-54-for-defending-terror-announces-crackdown

So, basically you're going to obsess about whether it's 99% of Muslim majority countries, instead of 100%, and just blow off the point: She actually has evidence on her side. Lots of it.

I don't think the left, ideologically, are capable of coping with Islam. It's like a devoted libertarian facing a economic problem that demands government regulation: It is very difficult to admit the existence of problems that demand answers that run contrary to your ideology.

It is very difficult to admit the existence of problems that demand answers that run contrary to your ideology.

Truer words were never spoken ...

Just out of curiosity: what are your "answers" to the "problem" of 2 billion muslims worldwide? How would you "cope" with Islam if you had power?

I don't have a complete answer at this point, but the first step in finding an answer is to admit there's a problem.

My partial answer would be: We need to make Middle East oil irrelevant. Islam would be Islam, with or without the oil, but it's spread would not be heavily subsidized without it.

And, without the dependence on Middle East oil, we wouldn't have to tippy toe around the nature of the regimes there. Our relations with the Saudis would be rather different in a world where they couldn't collapse the world's economy at the turn of a spigot. If we weren't held hostage, we wouldn't be suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

I think that flood of oil money changed Islam for the worse, because the center of Islam doesn't have to be functional. It isn't moderated by the need to have a normally functioning economy. People can look at places like Dubai, and think that Islam can be the basis for a functioning, modern society. And maybe not realize that's only the case when massive amounts of money from outside are flowing in.

So, I see a large part of the solution in energy technology.

Beyond that, how to deal with Islam? We need a better way to deal with religion in general. I mean, look at Scientology: They're basically a criminal enterprise that calls itself a religion to gain immunity from the law. The Mafia with a tax exemption. If you can't deal with Scientology, you certainly can't deal with Islam, which is a real religion that just has some criminal tendencies.

We need less reluctance to recognize that a lot of mosques are as much terrorism recruiting centers as they are churches. We need to understand that doing something about that isn't a violation of religious liberty, it's just requiring religions, too, to be bound by normal laws.

My real concern: Islam isn't getting better, it's getting worse. The problem is growing, in part because political elites are largely committed to pretending it isn't a problem. At some point the problem is going to get so freaking big, that this won't be possible anymore. And then we might actually end up in that world-wide war between Islam and everybody else, for real, just because the problem couldn't be addressed when something less would serve.

Telling Muslims that, no, they aren't entitled to force everyone else to hold their mouths concerning Islam would be a start, I think. They desperately need to hear criticism.

NV, I agree with most of your 12:44, the one point I will make is that Senegal seems to be heavily influenced by Sufism which does make a less powerful counter example.

I completely agree that making Middle East oil irrelevant is the right answer . . . even though I don't think that the problem is actually Islam. The problem, rather, is the kind ultra-fundamentalist Islam (Wahabism, specifically) that the Saudi's have embraced. Since that's their state religion and the source of their political legitimacy, they spend lots and lots of money promoting it worldwide. And oil is why they have the funds to do so.

So, make the oil a minor factor in the economy, and that money goes way down. When the money supporting fundamentalist imams around the world goes away, what gets preached in those mosques changes. Again. And since virtually all schools of Islam are dramatically less fundamentalist, the kind of Islam getting promoted to Muslims around the world becomes less absolutist, less self-righteous, and less violently opposed to anybody else's views.

It won't be instant, of course. But the sooner things head rapidly in that direction, the better for everybody.

The utter and complete absence of even so much as one majority Muslim state that is, not even a liberal democracy, but even moderately free, does somewhat argue for this position.
So, basically you're going to obsess about whether it's 99% of Muslim majority countries, instead of 100%,

the same person wrote both of those.

boggle.

So, basically you're going to obsess about whether it's 99% of Muslim majority countries, instead of 100%, and just blow off the point: She actually has evidence on her side.

Her observation was a banal one, and her evidence wasn't something that I disputed; the point of contention was whether her reasonable observation that repressive dictatorships are quite willing to use the majority religion as another tool to crush dissent. Of course they do. Christian-majority dictators do the same thing. Minority totalitarian regimes also use their religion to crush dissent. None of these observations protect her from charges of bigotry. They just might mean that bigotry is co-existing with valid observations.

And that's where you started having problems; not being able to admit the existence of problems that demand answers that run contrary to your ideology, as you put it. Islam is full of rot, and the rot's root is in the Kingdom - not in Mekkah, mind you: in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia has been pushing radicalism outward for years to bolster its internal stability and political influence, and that's a problem. A huge problem. Like, if a Muslim community wants a mosque, getting religious resources is hard if they're moderate but comparatively easy-peasy if they're willing to kowtow to the fundamentalists in the Kingdom. Like, if a Muslim convert wants a Qur'an, they're probably going to end up with a translation published by the Kingdom with commentaries accompanying the translation to make sure it's even worse than the translation itself would paint it to be (I have three translations, and one is a Saudi edition from the 90s - the difference is radical and slightly vulgar... though I am led to understand that in the late nineties that edition was cast aside for being too liberal). And this problem is made much worse by the West playing footsie with the Kingdom for reasons of realpolitik. The continuing spread of Saudi Wahhabism and Salafism is a very real problem, and one we've helped along by closely allying ourselves with the Kingdom. But the solution isn't to try to marginalize Islam - heightening the contradictions plays into the hands of the radicals who very much want us to conclude that Islam is incompatible with open, modern society so they can point and preen that anyone wanting to have both their faith and modernity needs to accept theocracy. We to try to support the moderates who speak out rather than attacking the religion itself. We need to separate criticisms of the faith of Islam, movements within that faith, and totalitarian regimes that use that faith as a tool of control. Simplistic conflation of all of the above, and attacks on the faith strictly for the purpose of attacking the faith help no one but the culture warriors. Again, if the enemy is seeking to heighten contradictions, the answer is to refuse to play their game, not to double down and tell them to bring it on.

So yeah, no. The right answer isn't to lecture Muslims on their problems and to tell them they need to shut up and listen to anything and everything critical we (the non-Muslim portions of the West) have to say to them, no matter how caustic and hatefully phrased it might be. I'm not trying to justify shooting cartoonists, so don't claim that I am. But CH had a puerile, irresponsible editorial tone, and in the context of French culture their words were toxic, and they were quite earnest useful idiots for both nationalists and fundamentalists. They deserved censure. Not censorship, and certainly not bullets, but you telling us we need to hold our mouths concerning Charlie's sort of exceedingly incisive commentary helps no one we should want to be helping.

*wasn't whether her [...] to crush dissent was correct.

<sigh>

Without agreeing or disagreeing with elements of Brett's 7:14am statement (there is something counter to every crumbling ideology in there), it is a truly astonishing, breathtaking document, considering the source.

An awful lot of collectivist "We", Kemosabe, without mentioning once (in the larger sense) what will be the organizing principle and agency of all of this.

One suspects it won't be the local PTA. In fact, perhaps only Saudi Arabia, Putin's Russia, or North Korea have the governmental chops to get the job done.

I could see the U.S. Government hiring the Cliven Bundy crowd as consultants, as the lion lays down with the veal chop.

The only remnant of the Constitution left standing, for example, might be one of the commas in the Second Amendment, natch, hovering in midair like Wily Coyote before the plunge.

I can think of certain elements of our society who might use this interregnum to suggest popping down to the local Catholic Arch-Diocese to harass the homosexual recruiting center and perhaps confiscating the offering plate to close that tax-exemption loophole ... again, something for everyone.

Regarding oil, and again, who wouldn't agree with some of this, but the first move to oil independence, given the fungible nature of the commodity, might be to complete the Keystone Pipeline, but hook it up at the Gulf Coast to another pipeline alongside that sucks the oil right back into Canada, so Canada can sue their own energy resources independently.

One irony of Saudi Arabia's recent OPEC maneuvering is that the commodity, currency, and financial market disruption is not caused by cutting production, but by keeping the production floodgates open.

We can't handle that either, because Mr. Market, or is it Mrs. Market, dictates that now domestic exploration must be cut.

Canada might "sue", but first "use" and see how it goes.

I don't disagree with the characterization of Wahhabism here, but at this point in history, destabilizing (as much as I'd like to) the Saudi regime and along with it, the Putin regime, by destroying their economies might clear the way for unleashing even more ferocious and murderous demons as the two countries disintegrate.

Just saying.

One point I've been meaning to make:

Given that Islamist radical terrorist extremism defines its battlefield as the entire world and everyone, armies and civilians, as a potential combatant, Charlie Hebdo, from a strictly strategic perspective, underestimated their enemy and miscalculated their own choice of satirical tactics.

Look, if you are in a foxhole on a Normandy Beach in 1944 and you thought it would be useful to stand up during a lull in the fighting and yell at the Nazi positions --- "I'm going to screw Adolph's mother when we get to Berlin" -- thus giving away your position, the first thing that would happen if you weren't first picked off by a sniper or were otherwise scragged by the Germans, is your commanding officer, perhaps chuckling in spite of himself, would place you under arrest for later court-martializing, unless he thought it prudent to shoot you in the back for endangering his troops and the invasion strategy.

If you buy the terrorist ethos of the world as battlefield.

I guess Charlie Hebdo, and I support their absolute right to free speech as a matter of law, not to mention their chutzpah, though I question some of their judgements, thought they were "counting coup", like some American Indian tribes, by swooping in and whacking the enemy harmlessly on the back of the head or some such, daring the Calvary to respond by shooting them in the back as the warriors rode off whooping their glee.

It was satire by any other name.


A cavil.

"Calvary"?

What am I? Henry IV?

cavalry

hup

Brett @7:14: "So, I see a large part of the solution in energy technology."

Some of the rest of us agree, but so far have been unable to pry the incandescent bulbs from your
cold, dead, hands.

I don't know what thread this belongs on, but WTF:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/oklahoma-survivalist-shoots-police-chief

I guess the shooter was neither an Islamist terrorist nor Trayvon Marton nor Eric Garner not any number of other "types", but a white "gun enthusiast".

That's some kind of enthusiasm.

I guess conservative law enforcement in the heartland is taking their brand of "political correctness" to new depths.

Maybe it's a Mayberry deal.

Hell, it's only good ole Dallas. He's shot the sheriff on numerous occasions. Where do you think the song title came from? Sure, he got a little carried away, calling in those bomb threats and all, but he don't mean no harm. Let him sleep it off at home.

I think Brett means he'll light up his incandescents with nuclear power.

More efficient lighting won't reduce demand for oil noticeably; Hardly any of it is used for electricity generation in the first place. I'm all for nuclear, yes, but that won't replace oil, either, unless we went in a large way for either electric vehicles or synthetic fuels.

more efficient everything will reduce that demand, and lightbulbs are a step in that direction. and the less pushback from the knuckle-headed pro-ineiffciency crowd, the better.

Oh, that's brilliant. More efficient lighting is part of more efficient everything. More efficient cars are ALSO part of more efficient everything. Therefore, since more efficient cars would reduce demand for oil, so would more efficient lighting.

Where'd you learn logic? You were cheated.

reading, Brett. try it.

Look, opposition to the regulatory attack on incandescent bulbs isn't due to some crazy opposition to efficiency. It's due to the regulation being obnoxiously ham-handed.

Read it. The argument relies on the assumption that the objection to incandescent bulb bans is motivated by a hostility to energy efficiency, rather that a belief the bans were heavy handed and ill advised.

You can always make anything about anything else, by inventing a belief system for the people you disagree with. That doesn't mean they actually hold that belief system.

I, for one, am absolutely OUTRAGED that the FSHA bans triangular wheels on cars, because the ban is heavy-handed and ill-advised.

I think there's a ban on drinking Chlorox too; might want to check if it's sufficiently "heavy handed", because they put some pretty harsh language on the label.

That comment would probably work better if they actually did ban triangular wheels. Rather than leaving you free to use them if the circumstances warranted doing so. I don't think they've actually banned drinking clorox, specifically, either. Might be some harsh language on the label, but if Congress had mandated "harsh language" on the labels of incandescent bulbs, there might have been some sarcasm, but outrage would have been minimal.

The point, anyway, is that the Niagara of oil money pouring into the Middle East is what created the world-wide problem of Islamic terrorism. The most direct way to deal with it, long term, is not to nuke Mecca, but to make that oil as close to worthless as possible.

And banning incandescent bulbs doesn't really contribute to accomplishing that. Widespread adoption of electrically powered vehicles would. But unless you like the idea of coal powered cars, that does mean a large scale build out of nuclear.

That doesn't mean they actually hold that belief system.

what they actually believe is irrelevant. we shall know them by what they say and do. when modest attempts at regulating efficiency are met by knuckleheaded protestations and when those who strive for efficiency are smothered in mocking clouds of waste, we know we are dealing with knuckleheads.

Oy vey, with the lightbulbs again! It's the start of the slow march to the Gulag.

I believe the appropriate response here, from what I've seen, would be:

Shorter Cleek: "When people disagree with me about something, I know I'm dealing with knuckleheads."

Anyway, maybe you should try selling energy efficiency as a war on Middle Eastern Islam, instead of a way to save bunny rabbits? If you want right-wing support, I mean, instead of an excuse to despise right wingers while not accomplishing anything.

Shorter Cleek: "When people disagree with me about this something, I know I'm dealing with knuckleheads."

I would ask Brett to turn down the incandescent heat of his hypocrisy, but it keeps the fuel bills down...

"The point, anyway, is that the Niagara of oil money pouring into the Middle East is what created the world-wide problem of Islamic terrorism. The most direct way to deal with it, long term, is not to nuke Mecca, but to make that oil as close to worthless as possible."

Simple, is it? Is that all that "caused" Islamic terrorism? Perhaps you meant "helped enable and finance".

Arabia and Persia reduced to tribal penury on the level of Afghanistan? Certainly we've had no trouble from that non-oil producing country bombed into the stone age by the Soviet Union and then us.

Just a bunch of bunny rabbits, they are.

I look forward to the Israel lobby's and the Texas oil lobby's responses to the move to worthless oil, not that worthless coal, oil, and I assume, natural gas isn't a worthwhile goal.

A snap of the fingers.

Is that all that "caused" Islamic terrorism?

Wait a minute! I think I'm hearing hints that you might hate America and/or white Europeans. Don't oppress the poor, downtrodden imperialist-colonialists, now.

banning incandescent bulbs

Incandescent bulbs have been banned?

Somebody better tell Lowes, Menard's, Wal-Mart, etc before they get raided.

While incandescent heat bulbs are still available, I'm disappointed that the heat lamp/vent fixtures that I use to install over bathtubs/showers is no longer available. They were not only a very popular energy efficiency improvement (when used properly), they also did a good job of controlling the growth of stachybotrys mold.

the heat lamp/vent fixtures that I use to install over bathtubs/showers is no longer available

Not any of these are what you are looking for?

Probably not, since a vent with a heat lamp built in is not at all the same thing as a "heated vent". What Jeff wants is not entirely gone from the market, but they are quite a bit harder to find now.

Assuming I haven't read all the comments, how did a discussion of Obama's failing to visit France turn into one about lightbulbs ?

(& assuming I have, ditto.)

Gun nuts, I get that's a thing.

Incandescent bulb nuts ???
Not cool, man.

1: Obama fails to visit France in response to Islamic terrorism.

2: How to deal with Islamic terrorism?

3: Make oil worthless so that Saudis can't fund it.

4: Oh, wait, you can't suggest that, you objected to the incandescent light bulb regulations.

Admittedly, I find step 4 a bit dubious myself.

Thanks for the help Slart.
The Broan QTX110HL Ultra Silent Series Bath Fan with Heater and Light might do the job but it requires 1500 watts as compared to 150 watts and the sense of heat is not instantaneous.. None of the rest are anything like what I provided. They will provide the ventilation required if I can remind the costumer to leave them on long enough to dry the bathroom.

Sorry about my diversion but energy efficiency improvement is one of my things. Even if I could find what I need the local building department will no longer let me install it. I've abide to regulation but it does complicate and sometimes hamper.
On topic making a stink about BO not showing up in Paris seems silly to me, but the conversation has been interesting to read.
I just had nothing intelligent to add to it.

You are looking for the old kind of ceiling heater with radiant strips, or what? Hard to tell what it is you're looking for.

If you're looking for a heating bulb together with a lighted ceiling fan, that may be a problem. But you can buy the heater separately (Broan makes 1- and 2-bulb heat lamps for the bathroom), and probably cobble together a bezel to cover the whole mess.

The Broan integrated heater and vent/light is, I gather, a bit like a vent/light coupled together with a 1250-watt hairdryer.

Broan used to make what I need. Perhaps they still do but I can't find it. It was just a simple/cheap bathroom vent that held a heat lamp. Mounting it over the tub was very popular and effective.
Right now I have 2 bathrooms in remodel and removing the ugly old resistance heaters vents. I'll just install new vents and hope the renters use them before the walls turn black.
The world has bigger problems for me to solve.

Brett, if we had gone from the step 3 you list to step 4, pretty muich everybody would agree that was a step too far. Thing is, there is some reason to suspect that others perceived a somewhat different steps 4 and beyond.

I'm in full support of regulating how new homes should be built to more energy efficient standards. Our bigger problem though is with all of our existing housing stock. Extensive and expensive remodels are great for those who can afford it. More modest work and changing habits can also be effective. But the idea of regulating behavior/habits rubs many in a bad way. Making people stop using inefficient lighting sounds like a silly small thing but it really adds up to some serious wattage when multiplied by 300,000,000+

The world has bigger problems for me to solve.

Yup. That's odd they don't have those old exhaust fans w. heat lamp? I should think the fan cfm is what dries out the space. How about an occupancy sensor light switch? Fan always comes on when you are in the room. Comes in handy for more than moisture from the bath/shower.

signed,

fellow contractor

The Broan integrated heater and vent/light is, I gather, a bit like a vent/light coupled together with a 1250-watt hairdryer.

Holy sh*t. What does it do in the quarter mile?

Yes enough cfm will dry the place if people will just turn it on and leave it on for the proper length of time. One friend had a wife that loved her long hot showers but he could not get her to use the exhaust fan for some reason. When the walls and ceiling turned black they called me in to see what I could do. I simply installed a second vent that included the heat lamp directly over the shower controlled by a single switch. She loved it and I may have saved their marriage.

I, too, would think it's the exhaust fan drying things out, not the heat lamp. I installed one of those two bulb Broans in my mother's bathroom years ago, and while the heat lamp was very nice stepping out of the shower, you'd have to leave it on a very long time before it would have much effect on the temperature of the room itself.

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