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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 7,650

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The left needs to get real about domestic jihadists

I am (way) far left of center, and I understand the desire of many leftists to categorize acts of terrorism as a form of mental illness, so as to avoid appearing to be intolerant anti-Muslim bigots. I get this, but I am increasingly reminded of how the old Soviet Union found it useful to lock up their political dissidents in mental asylums. They did this so they could strip any acts against the state of any political meaning, and claim that perps were all suffering from mental illness.

I see the same tendency at work today in many leftists not wanting to acknowledge any underlying political meaning of terror acts against Canada (my country) and elsewhere. If they don't have membership cards saying they are paid up members of ISIL, it is argued, then they are really just crazy people, and we just have to understand their craziness, and not try to consider their acts as having any political meaning. Move along, nothing to see here.

The most illustrative case I can think of is the Oklahoma beheading last month. Despite the perpetrators conversion to Islam, his aggressive but failed attempts at recruiting others to Islam, despite his many jihadi posts on Facebook and elsewhere, and despite the fact (if I recall correctly) that he shouted Allah Akbar as he beheaded a former coworker, this event has been treated as a garden-variety case of "workplace violence" by a crazy guy.

The same thing happened with the Ft. Hood shootings. I now see the same strains occurring in the coverage of yesterday's hatchet attack on police in NYC. In the absence of stamped membership card in ISIL, the perp is about to be declared just another loonie, doing things that loonies have always (sort of) done.

It thus appears that one way the government is keeping America free from acts of terrorism right now, at least in part, is by classifying any terrorist act that does occur as a meaningless act of violence by crazy people. Move along, nothing to see here.

Given that the left seems disposed to going along with this misdirection, I worry about where it all heads. I think most people do know the difference between a terrorist act, and an instance of workplace violence when they see it. They know that Ft. Hood and the Oklahoma are not just a form of "workplace violence" as they are said to be.

If the left clings to the fiction that all these acts are just craziness, and have nothing to do with radical Islam being exported into the west, then I fear it will be the right wing haters, not the reasonable left, who will be relevant to the debate that needs to happen on taking sensible action to protect ourselves against homegrown jihadists. This will adversely effect the kind of laws that will be enacted to deal with the real danger posed by homegrown jihadists.

Study (again) affirms link between stupidity and conservatism

The study:

Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact

A column from George Monbiot referencing this study:

"The right's stupidity spreads, enabled by a too-polite left"

Worth noting.

Iraq: Good job Prez Bush, well done!

Dozens killed in Iraq as bombers target Shi’ite population

BAGHDAD — Bomb attacks targeting Shi’ite Muslim areas of Iraq killed at least 67 people on Thursday, police and hospital sources said, ramping up fears of an increase in sectarian strife.

I'd like to hear the Bushites explain how the U.S got a trillion dollars worth of goodness from this war.

A DU3 thread of possible interest to Canadians...


Historians form "Occupy History" support group

I received this today via a discussion list for academic historians:

Subject: Occupy History: formation announced
From: "Jesse Lemisch" <jesse.lemisch@verizon.net>
Date: Fri, December 9, 2011 11:33 pm

Announcing Formation of Occupy History

Inspired by the creativity and strength of Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy
movement around the world, Occupy History seeks to add its voice in
support of those speaking out against and demanding solutions to growing
injustice and inequality, both economic and social. We encourage
historians to work to build the discussion beyond inequality and injustice
to include the history of the struggle for equality and justice and the
changes needed in our countries' governments.

In addition to showing our support for the Occupy Movement, Occupy History
plans to provide resources to the Occupiers. Locally we would like to be a
resource Occupiers can go to for speakers and discussion leaders. On our
website we plan to provide resource pages with book and film
recommendations Occupiers can use for educational purposes.

We hope to develop a list of films, or perhaps the films themselves, that
could comprise a film festival of the history of progressive political
movements in America and around the world.

To learn more about Occupy History, including how you can participate,
please visit our website at occupyhistoryna.wordpress.com

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