Sunday, August 13, 2006

Karmic Inversion
Reading Herr Goldstein, I came across a link to this post at Alarming News, which in turn links to this Hindustan Times article. I'll excerpt the same section Karol chose:
Money sent to Pakistan for quake rehabilitation was used to fund the Heathrow bomb attack plot that was foiled by British authorities, says an investigation by a leading Pakistani daily.

According to the Daily Times, the Muslim Charity of UK remitted a huge amount of money to three individuals in three different bank accounts in Mirpur, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in December 2005 as earthquake relief.

But the money in the three accounts in Saudi Pak Bank, Standard Chartered and Habib Bank Ltd was solely for the purpose of financing the foiled bomb plot, the paper said.
I cannot see how to improve upon Karol's summation:
Just to recap: Brits, as well as other westerners I presume, donated money to earthquake relief in Pakistan. That money was then used to try and murder them.
It reminds me of the story about the kid with the prosthetic leg who was attacked by teens who took the leg and beat him with it.

posted by Malaclypse the Tertiary at 3:47 PM ·

Saturday, August 12, 2006

First Katrina, Now This
Bush not only hates blacks, he apparently hates Chinese as well.
"Nobody has told us anything. Nobody has been round to help clear up. It seems we've been left on our own," he says through metal-capped teeth in uncertain-sounding Mandarin.
He can be certain of this much: Bush's project to manipulate global weather (cleverly disguised as 'global warming',) with help from fantastically powerful beings from another dimension, has claimed more victims.


posted by Malaclypse the Tertiary at 9:11 PM ·

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Anglo (Semite) Street
Jews and WWII vets have taken to the streets in violent protests, including a firebombing of the Iranian embassy in Washington D.C., in response to a blasphemous cartoon contest depicting denials of the Holocaust run in Tehran’s Hamshahri newspaper.

I have encountered no shortage of voices on the left complaining of late about the ostensible conflation of Islamism and Islam. Alternatively, they’re arguing that Islamism is no greater danger than Christian Fundamentalism. They do this right out in the open with no compunction whatsoever. Procrustean lot, these equivocators.

posted by Malaclypse the Tertiary at 11:13 AM ·

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Anti-Affirmative Action Redaction
Jeff, whilst continuing his ongoing explication of the Miers debate, links to this post at “The Trigger” excoriating Hugh Hewitt, which in turn links to this post by Stanley Kurtz re: Hewitt/Miers, which makes reference to an op-ed Mr. Kurtz penned back in February of 2001 entitled Academic Postmodernity & the SATs, which is the impetus for my current post. Follow all that?

Perhaps it is a pursuant to mine own narcissism that I would outline the path I took to that piece. Regardless, I would dub the op-ed in question as mostly spot on. Read it post haste. Here’s a juicy bit:
No one wants to think of themselves as a temporary exception to proper academic standards. So the beneficiaries of liberal condescension quickly became the carriers of a new ideology. The rise of academic postmodernism, with its assumption that classic democratic principles are just a cover for white, male, heterosexist, first-world power, is directly attributable to affirmative action. The only way to preserve self-respect as an exception to standards of academic excellence and democratic principle was to mount an attack on those very principles and standards.
My parents are of the generation comprising those “who entered our colleges and universities with the avowed goal of "subverting" them” and who “are now at the apogee of their influence”. For this and other reasons, I feel I have some familiarity with the genesis of their weltanschauung, and I can’t simply buy, in its entirety, the tidy package Herr Kurtz wraps up for us. I accept and endorse the thesis that affirmative action and its philosophical antecedents really do pose a threat to meritocracy and individual freedom, but it strikes me as at best an oversimplification to suggest that postmodernism rose primarily as a beard for an affirmative action’d studentry.

I submit that postmodernism was a (admittedly poor) response to the very real shortcomings of the enlightenment paradigm. I’m a big fan of the enlightenment paradigm incidentally, but it clearly and fully fails to explain a great deal of the human experience, and where it is useful (which is to say in a lot of places) it still leaves one wanting. Philosophical Materialism, for example, is a wonderful context within which to make useful predictions about phenomena, but who but the most dogmatic materialist can accept that love is merely a product of neurotransmission and nothing more? What is the more? I don’t pretend to know, but if the historically steady evolution of human knowledge is any guide, how can one be content to consider the enlightenment paradigm the apotheosis thereof?

I will not aver postmodernism as the new paradigm; I think it amounts to essentially a devolution. However, much in the same way that businesses which refuse to respond to market trends die, the old-guard of the enlightenment write their own death notices when they stubbornly refuse to recognize that postmodernism is not merely epiphenomenal to youthful rebellion. Something will supplant the reigning paradigm, and while it won’t be “postmodern,” the avatars of enlightenment orthodoxy can provide us little clue as to what will be its countenance.

posted by Malaclypse the Tertiary at 11:09 PM ·

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Intellect Disposer
You may remember Stephen Pearcy (no, not the lead singer of Ratt) as the person of inestimable profundity who employed his house in Southern California as a gallery of adolescent angst. Then again, maybe you were not made aware of his fifteen minutes.

Obviously, I don’t think his rather sophomoric antics have any bearing upon the cogency of those arguments made for or against the war. Clearly, his “art” speaks to his own grasp of the issue much more than it speaks to the issue itself. However, I would be remiss as an observer of human affairs if I didn’t mention that the sheer abject idiocy quotient among those protesting the war (or at least those who get all the media attention) seems quite staggering. Cindy Sheehan, anyone?

I must say that the lionizing media attention that Mr. Pearcy received struck me as quite dubious. Essentially, the media raised a marginal voice (I think I’m being generous here) to include it in the national debate as if it had offered something of great worth. While this reflects incredibly poorly on the ability of the media to parse out the debate, I thought I might turn my attention directly to Pearcy. I admit, he’s a very easy target – but given the status he’s been afforded, he deserves some scrutiny.

I started reading his blog first in an effort to understand his arguments. His arguments struck me as little more than self-congratulating puffery and faux-outrage. Such arguments cannot be met, only ignored. However, in a moment of unabashed journalistic heroics, Mr. Pearcy decides to pen an entry “exposing” the ostensible barbarity of the U.S. military, ostentatiously titled, “The Real Cost of War in Iraq”. It contains the following:
In the night of 14 July, young Yassin was sleeping on the land in his garden because it was hot and there was still no electricity to cool the home. At 3 in the morning, an American armoured vehicle ran right over an exterior fence surrounding the garden and then ran right over Yassin. Some of Yassin's neighbors tried to help Yassin as he lay there, but the U.S. soldiers would not let them near. U.S. soldiers then immediately shot him dead. The armoured vehicle continued on and then broke through the house where Yassin had lived and destroyed it and then his family's car.
It is hard to believe on the face and especially so when one considers that it reads like an Al Jazeera piece. I was not ready to summarily dismiss it however, until I knew its source. So, I clicked on the comments for the blog entry and noticed that someone named “bart” had already requested sourcing:
Can you tell me your source on this particular story?
That’s straightforward enough. No baiting or histrionics, just a request for a source. Pearcy responds with:
A much more reliable one than the source you rely upon to believe that Bush didn't lie.
Hmm, so maybe he’s just in a bad mood and he intends to eventually reveal the source. Bart, it seems, decides to be charitable and largely ignore the bait and reiterate the question:
All right, I understand your need to reiterate your view that Bush lied, but instead of pussyfooting around my question, maybe you can answer it.
Pearcy replies:
First let me ask: Do you think that news reports from Iraq that are first reviewed and approved by the US military are credible?
I’ll resist the urge to quote the entire comments section even though I’d like to because as the debate developed there, Pearcy first deleted the entire post, then when taken to task for it, he put it back up and when further taken to task for avoiding offering a source he finally disabled commenting altogether. Fortunately, Google cached it (though I’m sure it won’t stay for long.)

Anyway, I joined the fray and pushed for the source. So, okay, I’m gonna quote the damn thing after all because who knows how long Google’s cache of it will last. Here’s the back and forth between Pearcy and yours truly:
"First let me ask: Do you think that news reports from Iraq that are first reviewed and approved by the US military are credible?"

Typical. Let me ask: What fucking difference does it make what some eponymous righty thinks about reports vetted by the US military vis-a-vis your claim? Wave your arms much?


How do you miss these points all the time?

It would certainly matter to Bart if my source was an official military one and he regarded such a source as credible. That was the reason I asked HIM the question. Maybe YOU would have a different standard for credibility than he would.

Brain Trust,

Notice the part where I say, "vis-a-vis your claim"? See that? What I meant by that, which should be fairly obvious, is that it is generally considered responsible (I know - how passe!) to cite one's sources. This standard obtains irrespective of the audience. See? Not complicated.

In other words, why not just come out and cite the source? Why needle bart? It matters, in the empirical sense, not one wit what bart thinks of the source - the citation serves ALL audiences, not just the ones who would agree with your sentiments.


Your comments are irrelevant to my question to Bart. Regardless of whether it's responsible to cite the source, I still asked Bart a legitimate question. Bart was afraid to answer my question because he realized that answering it might commit himself to accept the legitimacy of my source once I disclosed it. See? Not complicated.

Self-appointed “Exposer”: "Your comments are irrelevant to my question to Bart."

You're quite a dancer aren't you. Actually, no: your ploy is quite transparent. A more accurate description of the situation would be to say,

"Your question to Bart is irrelevant to the issue of citing sources for inflammatory and dubious claims. In fact, it is likely a diversion from the fact that you either don’t have a source or are unwilling to share it because it will be dismissed by all but your sycophants.”

I’m also impressed by your willingness to delete posts/comments in which you get a drubbing. Quite sporting! Is it with that same devotion to integrity that you practice law?

Mal, if you thought that this original post had "inflammatory and dubious claims," then you should have been pleased when I saved as a draft (which removed it from the blog). But then you complained and accused me of "deleting" it.

Why don't you make up your mind? Apparently, you'll complain whether it's up or whether it's down!

Some posts simply become dated. And sometimes I save old ones, for example, that got very few comments, or none at all, as drafts.

In any event, if I deleted posts just because someone criticized me, then almost all of them would be gone. So that's never my motive.

Uh huh. Keep on dancin'. Meanwhile, more than a month has gone by during which you have yet to reveal the source for your story.

When I left comments (in another post) to the effect that this post had been "poofed" out of existence and left a link to Google's cached image of it, you promptly deleted my comment and voile - the post reappears. Couple this with the fact that you've dithered and dissembled for a month while two people have asked for a source on this story, and most sane people would have difficultly concluding that you are being anything other than perfidious. (Never mind that another post – in the comments section of which I provide a thorough and hermetic case for the probability that you are actually an AI construct created by Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal – also disappeared.)

See here, Pearcy: I don’t give a good god damn what you do with your blog. Display as much or as little intellectual honesty and rigor as you wish. Craft flimsy stories about how you “save as drafts” those posts in which you are demonstrated to be fast and loose with ethics. I care not. I am simply pointing out, as any ombudsman would do with any journo at any paper in the country, that without sourcing, your claims can be considered little more than spurious.
Anyway, it was a few days later that comments were disabled on his blog. Way to “advance the debate” Pearcy. While you’re wasting your time with my exposé of the exposer, check out Google’s cache of this other exchange.

posted by Malaclypse the Tertiary at 4:53 PM ·

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Friggin' Giuliani!
Just a link (because I like Giuliani) to Patrick Ruffini's latest online GOP straw poll.

posted by Malaclypse the Tertiary at 12:33 PM ·

Monday, July 25, 2005

Jane's Defense
You know, in spite of the high-minded political journals and blogs and news anchors feigning disgust at the death of so many U.S. soldiers and Justin Raimondo and the luminous Pearl Jam and Harry Belafonte and many other voices, I still feel there are more bumper sticker platitudes to be written! Which is why, you know, THANK GOD!

posted by Malaclypse the Tertiary at 10:30 AM ·

Smart Blogs:
(in no particular order)
Deinonychus Antirrhopus
The Knowledge Problem
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Kolkata Libertarian
Andrew Sullivan
Little Green Footballs
Dave Barry
Libertarian Samizdata
Balloon Juice
Discount Blogger
Truck and Barter
Peking Duck
The Gweilo Diaries

Ludwig von Mises Institute
The Cato Institute
Junk Science
David Friedman
Tech Central Station

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