Thanks for proving those of us in the Counter-Jihad right about the Islamists. We said that your goal was to create a new caliphate, and everyone thought we were nuts because the idea of such a thing was so outlandish and the possibility so remote. See below for what Instapundit says:
Radical feminism’s theory on sexual misconduct is that it is done by men to keep women in their place. It is all about patriarchy and not sexual desire. Accordingly, the least likely people to engage in sexual assault would be lesbians, or so one would think. After all, they are about as far as possible from wanting anything to do with patriarchy. Yet, it turns out that this line of reasoning is flawed. In my book on gender, I cited a number of instances in which lesbians in fact had engaged in sexual misconduct. A few of them I witnessed for myself (these were very mild instances), some I heard about from women who had experienced it, and some I read about in the media. For those who are open-minded, radical feminism’s theory should be considered discredited.
Now a case has come to light of a lesbian who has been falsely accused of sexual misconduct. See here. This comes via Glenn Reynolds, who frequently mentions cases of false accusations of sexual assault and also of men being mistreated on sexual misconduct issues by their colleges or universities. For what it’s worth, it is interesting that the college authorities in this case were just as willing to believe the alleged victim in this case as they have been when the alleged perpetrators are male.
Every now and then Keith Burgess-Jackson asks on his blog how much gas is where his readers live. Here it is displayed as something like 131.9. That is per liter, but I assume it can’t be in pounds since no one could afford it, and so must be in pence. I figure this as about $8.50 a gallon, which is outrageous. But then cars here are usually small and don’t guzzle gas, plus people don’t generally drive as far as they do in the U.S., so they probably spend no more than we do.
Chile has been eliminated from the World Cup via penalty kicks, and that is too bad because they are a good team. However, having played Brazil to a 1-1 tie after regular play and thirty minutes of overtime, they could only score two out of the five penalty kicks taken. Since Brazil scored only three, had Chile scored four or five, they would have won. In fact, none of the kicks taken were what I call ideal, which is hard and inches from a post. Brazil got through merely by being less bad at penalty kicks than Chile. In fact, one of their shooters missed the goal entirely.
Despite the beliefs of some conservatives that there is a left-wing conspiracy to ram soccer down our throats, there just isn’t one. The evidence for this is something to do with Google (here; hat tip: Mark Spahn) and something about the Times (here). This latter, from Ann Coulter, makes me wonder if she accidentally saw the Times of London rather than the NY Times, and though I confess I haven’t really looked at the NY Times in ages, I doubt it’s as bad as she is making them out to be. But even if, several decades after the time when it should have taken to soccer, the NY Times is now pushing the sport on the rest of America, let me point out something to conservatives: To the extent that America now accepts soccer, it is due to its being supported by many people in the middle and on the right. The left has done almost nothing to help it, which is why I wrote a book denouncing them.
Look, as I have pointed out numerous times, the biggest political shock of my life came in 1976 when a soccer team came to town. I expected that the only fans would be leftists like me, but who showed up? Frat boys. Sorority girls. People in the military. And many, many suburbanites with small children. These are the people who made soccer go in this country, and the left has been conspicuous only by its absence. The “activists” have been inactive when it comes to advancing soccer, even though (as I spent a chapter arguing in my book) it seems to be right up their alley (especially in terms of multiculturalism). And this may be what conservatives are picking up on, that it seems perfectly natural for the left to adopt soccer, even though they mostly have not done so.
Think about this. Every now and then Legal Insurrection shows a photo someone has taken of a car whose rear end is filled with leftist bumper stickers. Have you ever seen one of these cars with a soccer bumper sticker on it? Of course not. Leftists who are soccer fans are few and far between, and even when they are fans, they don’t make a big political thing about it (which goes against their habit of politicizing everything, but that is their business). When I go to games, many of the cars in the parking lot have bumper stickers related to soccer on their bumpers, and they never have anything related to leftist causes, but when I go to Whole Foods (which is almost never), the bumper stickers I see in their parking lot never have anything related to soccer.
I used to subscribe to In These Times and The Nation, but I dumped both of them because of articles that were anti-soccer. In fact, I could write an entire book on my war with the left over soccer.
So far I have been talking about American leftists. What about foreign leftists who do in fact like soccer? In my experience, I can say that they have zero interest in whatever sports Americans like. I had always hoped that they would tell their American cousins to wake up, but they never did. As far as helping soccer advance in this country, they were as worthless as American leftists were.
Accordingly, while there might be a few leftists pushing soccer, there are plenty who want to have nothing to do with it, plus there are plenty on the right who are fans. No, the big factor in this country that separates soccer fans from those who hate soccer is not politics, but rather age. Older people are less likely to be soccer fans, while younger people are more likely to be. When I go to games, I am the oldest person there. Once I was at a game and saw a bunch of older men in the men’s room and wondered who they were. It was an exhibition game between the Columbus Crew and Hamburg, and it wasn’t until these fans started speaking German that I understood that they were Hamburg fans accompanying their team as it went on tour. It used to be, too, that no academics in America knew anything about soccer, but now a bunch of younger ones that I have met here have made a point of going to pubs to watch the U.S. play.
Incidentally, I warned people awhile back about irregular postings because of our travels. I spent nine hours yesterday driving around the English countryside, and I was too exhausted to do much of anything when I was done.
A grad student in military history here in Britain has found that the various characters in the fourth season of the comedy series Blackadder, which is set during World War I, have real-life counterparts, at least as far as their names are concerned. There was an actual Captain Blackadder, a Private Baldrick, a Captain Darling, and a Lieutenant George, and they all fought on the Western front.
Flying to Work
By now I suspect most will have heard that an official of Greenpeace, which discourages air travel, flies to work (from Luxembourg to Amsterdam) instead of taking the train. As Glenn Reynolds says, I will believe there is a crisis when those saying there is a crisis start acting like it.
ISIS Created by Iran?
This is what Melanie Phillips reported in a column in the Times the other day. She quotes one Abdul Rahman al-Rashid, a Saudi commentator for Ash-Sharq al-Awsat and a director of the Al-Arabiyya TV channel: “ISIS is a creation of Iranian and Syrian intelligence. Most [of its members] are in the dark [and do not know] they are being manipulated.”
Iraq May Break Up?
I can’t say I’m sorry at this prospect because I always thought it was a good idea. Split the country into three parts – Sunni, Shi’ite, and Kurdish – and let them go their own separate ways. This is what led to the split up of India into India and Pakistan. It is also what Malaysia very sensibly did with Singapore: they told it to go its own way. And it did, with spectacular success.
Iraq: The Perils of Diversity
Whatever one thinks of my view on the splitting of Iraq into three parts, a more important idea is that Iraq (as well as Syria) illustrates the perils of diversity. We have been told about how wonderful diversity is for so long that no one saying this even thinks about it much anymore, but the fact is that true, radical diversity is people wanting to kill other people for not believing the right things. Similarly, true multiculturalism must celebrate those cultures of the Third World which want to destroy other cultures of the Third World. Accordingly, those leftists who want to blame Bush for getting us into the mess Iraq is now in should pause and think about why this is happening. These people have been at each other’s throats for centuries, yet we keep hearing about how wonderful diversity is.
The fact is that diversity is only wonderful when the diversity is underlaid by a value like mutual tolerance and respect. Otherwise, diversity is about as horrible as anything can be. Moreover, which is worse, imposing Western values on non-Western cultures, or allowing them to keep their values, which as we now see, includes killing each other in vicious ways?
Malaysia Bans Use of Word “Allah” for Christians
See here. And what word did they think Arabic-speaking Christians (and Jews) used for “God” before Islam came along? Their reasoning is that if Christians use it, then Muslims might get confused and convert, which is a crime in that country. This is awfully stupid, but hey, don’t expect the left to condemn them either for their stupidity or for their failure to allow freedom of religion.
See here. It’s nice that there are now editorials in respectable newspapers talking about “fiddled data,” even if it will be a long time before the NY Times does this.
Luis Suarez: What Were You Thinking?
You’re one of the best soccer players in the world, and yet you thought you could get away with biting one of your opponents? Sheesh. Plus, people have even won money betting that you would bite someone in this World Cup (here).
Today, after dealing with a lot of hassles trying to get to a parish church my wife wanted to see, I noticed a sign for a place to pull off the freeway and go to a Burger King. This was a service exit, and there were also signs for KFC and Starbucks, yet while we found both of those two, we didn’t see the Burger King. Upon inquiring, we were told that it was at the service exit for the people going the other way on the freeway and that we’d have to cross a bridge to get to it. We walked at least fifty yards to get to the bridge and did not see this alleged Burger King in sight, so we gave up. I can’t imagine this happening in the U.S.
This wouldn’t have been so bad if I liked the sort of sandwiches stocked in the British store at this exit, but I know by now that items like a chicken-and-stuffing sandwich will be vile. Fortunately, there are plenty of ethnic restaurants near our apartment, or I’d be starving.
Another problem with driving here is that when one comes upon a roundabout, there is a sign in advance telling what one’s options are. The problem at this time of year is that many of them are hidden by foliage so that it is impossible to read them until the last second. Again, I can’t imagine this happening in the U.S. Crews are usually pretty good about cutting branches away so that people can see signs.
Another annoying thing is the fact that not a single map gives enough detail to tell us how to get from the city of York out into the countryside. Maps of York that have the right amount of detail unfortunately don’t extend far enough out from the city centre to be useful, while maps of larger scope don’t give enough detail. I have to use the Internet instead.
Since I’m griping about everything, the washing machine in our apartment is a puzzle. Instead of a simple switch giving the temperature (hot, warm, cold), there is a dial giving all kinds of choices, but the choices are given in numerical temperatures and they depend on the fabric. There is no choice for cold water unless you are washing woolens. Plus, the workings of the machine are odd. It is a front-loader, and after putting some water in, it spins for a while and then stops for about a minute. This cycle is repeated for half an hour, and then there is a spin cycle. I thought spin cycles only happened at the very end, but not on this machine where it does it after doing some washing. Plus, after this spin cycle, then the wash cycle starts all over again until there is another spin cycle. All told, I think the whole cycle – wash, rinse, and final spin – takes about an hour and a half. And that is only because I pushed the “quick wash” button. Imagine how long it would take if I hadn’t done that.
Finally, a new barber shop opened up across the street from our apartment. It is advertised as a Kurdish barber shop. Is there something special about Kurdish haircuts that this needs to be mentioned? In addition, along with the usual services (such as hair cuts and shaves), the last service listed is “flame the ear.” I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, nor am I sure I want to know.
An article in today’s Times reports on the fact that so many wealthy French people have come to London that there aren’t enough French schools in town for their children. They have come to London because they are trying to avoid France’s harsh tax laws. Raising taxes on the wealthy always seems to bring in less money than is anticipated, nor does it help the poor very much. Creating jobs is the better way to help the poor.
Yesterday the U.S. managed to squander an excellent chance to advance to the next round by allowing a goal in the last thirty seconds. Still, after watching Portugal score a goal in the first five minutes, I’m sure many of us would have been happy for a tie at that point. It was seeing almost certain victory snatched from us that makes a tie seem so awful.
Nevertheless, by tying Portugal, America seems to be surviving a very tough group. It is strange that the U.S. often plays above its potential, as it is doing now, while England often seems to play below. In fact, I can’t recall ever seeing England play above its potential, while I’ve seen the U.S. do so a number of times. I certainly would not have guessed in the last World Cup that we would tie England and end up on top of our group, so that was America playing above its potential and England playing below its potential. Likewise, in 2002 we played above our potential when we beat Portugal and actually made it to the quarter-finals.
Anyway, despite blowing the lead, America still has a good chance to advance to the next round. See here for the details.
I notice you people are making a bunch of demands of my alma mater, the University of Minnesota (here). Some of these are demands I agree with, such as “lowering tuition to increase accessibility for working class Minnesotans,” though I would express it as a goal rather than a demand. But here are some thoughts on how silly your demands are.
1. How do you pronounce “latin@?” Do you choose either “latino” or “latina?” Do you say “latino latina” or maybe “latina latino?” “Latinoa” or maybe “latinao?” “Latinat?” I always thought the switch from the gender-neutral term “Hispanic” was dumb, and you’re not making yourself look smarter by doing this.
2. You demand lower tuition, but you also make various demands that will increase costs. (For example, you demand paid staff for certain cultural centers.) Has it occurred to you that these are somewhat incompatible? How do you think both types of demands can be implemented? This leads to my next point.
3. The radicalization of our colleges and universities began about the time I started college in the late 1960s. None of us who got involved in this process ever thought much about the economics of higher education. College was comparatively cheap back then, and it never occurred to us that it wouldn't stay cheap. What happened? Isn’t it just possible that it was us radicals who inadvertently contributed to college becoming more expensive? Up until the late 1960s, public universities were funded by, among other sources, state legislatures and voluntary donations. The first source has dried up, while the second source has, I believe, been drastrically cut back. I remember my own father, a conservative, saying once after hearing about some demand that radicals like me were making that he was no longer going to donate any money. We were lower-middle class, so I imagine he wasn’t donating much, but add in all the other, and wealthier, conservatives who were refusing to donate during those years, and it meant a huge loss, which in turn meant that college became more expensive. Add in all the demands for more staff and administrators and cultural centers and what not by people like you, and college has become way more expensive.
Here’s the important thing I want to say. You won’t like it, but it is necessary. Our colleges need to go back to being politically neutral in order to bring in more money to keep the costs down. This will help the poor more than anything else you are demanding. As for all the things you want done for minorities, minorities will have to manage on their own. But why not demand help from all the rich leftists out there? There are plenty of rich leftists around, and you should pressure them into setting up all these cultural centers and advising for minorities, not within the university, but outside of it. That is, just as there are various religious centers (Newman, Hillel) near the university but which aren’t officially a part of it, you could build the same sort of centers for all the people you want to help. It is always easier to get what you want by going outside of official channels than to make these demands.
4. Like all “radicals” these days, you are never radical about sports. You don’t condemn dead white males in so many words, but you might as well do so, yet you never seem troubled by the fact that our colleges are dominated by sports invented by dead white males of the nineteenth century. Why not promote the Indian sport of lacrosse? If you are so interested in helping American Indians, this would fit in with your demands quite nicely. But you won’t do it because you are and never will be radical in that way. You think you know yourselves, but you don’t. You think of yourselves as radicals, and in some ways you are, but you are also traditionalists (at least about college sports), but you are unaware of this aspect of your own selves. Maybe in a hundred years, people like you will see that there is a problem with this mixing of radicalism and traditionalism, but for now you are wholly unreachable.