#Islam

Got your shalom right here, Portnoy

A Shillum

Our old friend Howard is back to his usual… stuff today: Did you know that the word islam is a cognate of the Hebrew word shalom, meaning “peace”? Don’t berate yourself if you didn’t, because it isn’t true. This is

Posted in Miscellany Tagged with: , , ,

Americans planning… II – just a little crazy and dangerous

William Jacobson asks (at home blog here): Am I crazy and dangerous for pointing out [Frank] Rich’s intellectual laziness and predictability? Well, since you ask:  Probably just a little, maybe not as dangerous as you’d like to be.  Otherwise, you’re

Posted in International Relations, Religion Tagged with: , , , , ,

A voice in the rightwing wilderness

I still await news of a single statement at National Review or The Weekly Standard, or a single comment from a major Republican politician or conservative pundit, acknowledging that anyone on the right may have gone a bit too far

Posted in Politics, Religion Tagged with: , , , ,

Idjitihad through the looking glass…

Althouse: “Is the 9/11 Mosque a Publicity Stunt?” I entertained the notion that the idea was to propose it in order to stir up the reaction that was, in fact, stirred up. Some Americans would be outraged, including a subgroup

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

The IdjitihadTM rolls on

The HotAirians are greatly impressed with an article by two Canadian Muslims, Tarek Fatah and Raheel Raza, whom Ed Morrissey describes as “Muslim columnists,” and who appoint themselves the representatives of 1.57 billion people, in a sentence that has only

Posted in Religion Tagged with: , , , , ,

Flamesem and Japesem (The Gates of Conservative Ijtihad Are Closed!)

If a politician mocked the Lord’s Prayer in an attack on sexually abusive Priests, in a manner that insulted all Christians; if a politician sneered at the Kaddish while describing civilian casualties of Israeli military operations, insulting all Jews… The

Posted in Politics, Religion Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Conservatives vs Islam – reply to Oceanaris

oceanaris – author of a blog post strongly, even uncharitably criticized in our thread discussion – began his rebuttal via comment as follows: perhaps if one considers the repeated victory chants of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Cairo or

Posted in History, Politics, Religion, War Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Flamesem & Japesem (while Laughing at the Ground)

There is no outcry because our popular culture is thoroughly rotten. There reaches a point where you have to say it: I believe in evil. Satan is laughing. * * * I, too, believe in evil… (Don’t say that three

Posted in Politics, Religion Tagged with: , , , , ,

From Somalia without love

[amazon-product]1439157316[/amazon-product]In the middle of a mostly sympathetic review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Nomad, Nicholas Kristof wondered parenthetically if the author’s family is dysfunctional “simply because its members never learned to bite their tongues and just say to one another: ‘I

Posted in Books, International Relations, Religion Tagged with: , ,

Dialogue with John: Sacred Texts/Tests

John asks: If one is not actively trying to convert the other, professing good and evil, pushing revelation, is one having a political conversation? and can politics ever approximate an ideally-disinterested academic discussion, with its ways of mixing disinterested commentary

Posted in International Relations, Politics, Religion, War Tagged with: , , , , , ,

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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