March 5, 2007
All too often, the arts remain unappreciated. Well, here is another reason to love art.
What the hell is going on in Tennessee?
46 Teachers lose license for sex crimes Forty six Tennessee teachers have lost their licenses because of sex crimes against students in the past five years. One hundred fifty cases are still pending. The figures do not include teachers who find out they are under investigation and resign. State Representative Donna Rowland of Murfreesboro says Tennessee obviously has a problem. She is leading a new task force studying teacher abuse of students. By state law, a superintendent must report any resignation that is possibly based on immoral conduct, drugs or lying. But state officials say the law is easy to ignore.
That’s just one state, Tennessee.
On a more serious note, a reminder of who we are and why we do the things we do.
Here is the story behind that first photo- from the man who took it. We were going to write a long post but we decided we really did not need to. It wasn’t going to be a post for or against anything. We just wanted to point out that evil people will do evil things. In the end, however, the photos and short pieces speak for themselves (Hat tip to Beth).
March 5, 2007
It seems there is a ‘new’ Arab peace initiative in the Middle East. Thats’ right- after 40 years, the Arab world, led by the ‘Saudi initiative,’ and fronted by the Arab League, have offered Israel diplomatic recognition in exchange for ‘peace’ (it bears noting that the Hamas government of the Palestinians have never supported any idea or initiative that called for anything less than the eradication of Israel and the slaughter of Jews).
This bold Arab peace initiative comes about 40 years after the same proposals were offered up by Israel in the aftermath of the Arab initiated Six Day War. This newest ‘peace initiative’ comes 39 years after the Khartoum Declaration, in which the Arab world, led by the Arab League, came up with their famous three ‘No’s’- no to recognition of Israel, no to negotiations with Israel and no to the renunciation of violence until Israel was eradicated.
Even the name, ‘Arab League,’ is deliberately misleading. In fact, that organization does not represent Arab interests at all- and never has. The Arab League has not sponsored a single educational, economic or real democratic reform and empowerment program in it’s entire existence. The Arab League is an organization dedicated to maintaining the status quo and preserving the leaders of some of the most repressive and dysfunctional regimes in the world. That is it’s entire raison d’etre.
…equivalent of a bunch of witch doctors trading in their beads, bones and grass skirts and visions, to don western clothes, attend a convention of neuro-surgeons, and then they be considered equivalent medical professionals.
The Arab League has nothing offer the western, civilized world. That their efforts go into preserving and protecting that assembly of murderous, tyrannical and dysfunctional Arab world leaders is reason enough to disqualify anything they might have to say…
That the Arab League are considered an ‘legitimate representatives’ of the Arab world has to be put into context. The United Nations has given the Arab League the same status it accords the EU, NATO and other organizations of free world nations, when in fact, they are no more than the Arab world equivalent of the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet dominated league of oppressive and oppressive regimes.
The Arab League was silent after Iranian President’s Mahmoud Almahdinejad’s recent belligerent remarks threatened not only Israel’s existence, but the safety and security of European nations that supported Israel, the Arab League was silent.
(The Arab world has conditioned it’s population to define ’support’ for Israel as acknowledging Israel’s right to exist and the right of Israelis and Jews to defend themselves from the publicly promised ’slaughter of Jews,’ in media, schools and from the pulpits)
It wasn’t as if Almahdinejad was being obtuse. The BBC report noted Almahdinejad’s threats were more ‘hardline’ than usual. In barely ‘coded’ language, the Iranian president threatened Jews everywhere:
…”Zionists” in their homes, in various corners in the world, could not now enjoy security.
At the time, the BBC did not report a more accurate translation or analysis of the Iranian president’s words. The Khaleej Times provides a less circumspect analysis- they referred to the ‘boiling wrath’ of Muslims. The article also notes what the BBC and others failed to report:
Ahmadinejad described his warning as an “ultimatum” for Western powers. “You should not complain that we did not give a warning. We are saying this explicitly now.”
“If a hurricane starts be rest assured that the dimensions of this hurricane will not be limited to the geographic borders of Palestine,” he added. “This regime (Israel) will take its supporters to the bottom of the swamp.”
The Arab League had nothing to say with regard to the Iranian leader’s remarks. Why should they? Those remarks were only a reiteration of their own and Arab world policies and ideologies for decades.
To their credit, the Palestinians were not so circumspect. They endorsed the Iranian leader wholeheartedly.
The Arab League insists we ignore or not take not of their own legacy of failure and hypocrisy, demanding instead the right’ to negotiate a peace treaty that cannot possible be accepted or enforced. The recent Mecca agreements proved that- the Hamas government refused to recognize Israel and barely agreed to honor previous accords. The Arab League is preening in front of a mirror, concerned only with themselves and their appearance. They want to be perceived by the western democracies as relevant, useful and equal. On fact, they are none of those things.
They are in no position to negotiate a peace accord any more than they are in a position to put a man on the moon or lecture westerners on morality. Failed economies, racist and bigoted ideologies that are taught in schools, broadcast on the media and preached from religious pulpits are realities that not even the Arab League can sweep under the rug.
The oppression, misery and repression of human rights and dignity, that have gone on unimpeded and ignored by the Arab League and the masters they serve, has gone unreported but not unnoticed. The legacy of human suffering has been ignored notwithstanding the the pleading of not only religious groups (non Muslim), but from dissidents within those countries (It is ironic that the loudest voices decrying FGM, ‘honor killings’ and other atrocities are western and non Muslim).
The Arab world cannot be bothered of course- there isn’t much media to be had in defending those under the boot of tyranny- especially when you align yourself with any cause that is anti American or anti western. Given these realities, there is no reason to expect anything other than the continued genocide in Darfur and the tragedy and suffering in the Congo, Sierra Leonne and other parts of Africa.
The Arab world and Arab League can indulge in this game because they (mistakenly)believe that Europe in particular, has gone to great lengths to rid herself of her own religious identity. Europe now seems to be ‘reaching out’ to Islam, in order to somehow identify with a set of values- any values- but it’s own Judeo-Christian roots, as long as those values espouse Anti Americanism and the rejection that the Arab world be subject to any standards of behavior and morality.
The leftist European and leftist Americans have defined their support the dysfunctional Arab and Muslim world tyrannies, are nothing more than a ‘feel good’ pill of support for ‘victims.’.
That ‘feel good pill’ of support for victims provides a kind of false moral euphoria and sense of fulfillment, not unlike the intense relationship fanatic sports fans have with the teams they support.
The relationship between sports fans and their teams is an interesting one. On game day, the passion explodes, emotions run high and every play has that life or death drama or carries with it ‘agony or ecstasy.’ Coaches of either team or made into heroes or vilified (usually both, at one time or another during the game), plays are argued over, advice is hurled in the direction of inanimate TV sets and threats only add flavor and spice to the weekly event. For a few hours each week, the fan is consumed by passion and for tailgators, the pregame rituals (food, face painting and chants) are as sacred as religious services
Of course, there really is no relationship ‘commitment’ between the fan and his team. When the game is over, it’s over- until next week, anyway. Unlike a real relationship, sports fans can walk away, or discuss their passion whenever they feel like it. There is no real sense of obligation or accountability- each fan determines the quality of the relationship. The object of their affection, the team, has no say in how that relationship works.
It is the same with supporters of some of these dysfunctional regimes. They can be as passionate and as frenzied as they wish (especially when the cameras are rolling)- because they do not have to take the field. Like sports fans, the relationship is illusory- those supporting dysfunctional ideologies can walk away any time they want, or choose not to identify with the ‘over the top’ dysfunction, or move on to the next cause. They are sports fans, supporting the team they can identify with.
The Arab world is mistakenly identifying temporal support for ‘victimhood’ and anti American sentiment as commitment and a real relationship.
Real relationships are predicated and built upon real commitments and shared values (turning a blind eye to Arab world dysfunction is not the same as ‘shared values’) In the end, westerners will not submit to a threatening sword hanging over their heads. While the Arab world and the Arab League want to make the adversarial relationship about Israel, Jews and America, the facts are very different. The relationship the west has with the Arab world is predicated on power- the dysfucntional Arab regimes will do whatever they can to stay in power and abuse more generations of Arabs and deprive them of a future and hope.
When nations that are that are led by or are under the influence of tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify those actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the tyranny…
It is equally true that anyone that comes to the defense of tyrannical regimes, their ideologies and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral. They themselves consciously adopt an immoral posture.
Our confrontation with the Arab world is a confrontation of morality.
Successful relationships are never built because people share a cause. What might bring people together is very different from what keeps people together. Successful relationships are the result of people sharing values. To understand values, look to the schools, look to the media and look to religious principles that are taught.
There are those who value freedom, and there are those that don’t.
There are those who value religious rights, and there are those that don’t.
There are those who value minority rights, and there are those that don’t.
There are those who value women’s rights, and there are those that don’t.
There are those who value freedom of expression, and there are those who don’t.
Cultures and societies are not measured by what they destroy, but rather, by what they build. Religions are not measured by how many they kill in God’s name, but rather by how many they save in God’s name. Religions are not measured by who they hate in God’s name, but rather, they are measured by how many they extend their arms in acceptance, in His name.
That lesson has yet to be learned in much of the Arab world.