Wednesday, January 28, 2015

et ceteras

Addendum
My long-winded January 22nd post was about the nature of Islam and what we should do to defend against jihad. On January 24th, Andrew McCarthy published an article that included something I did not mention, but which we should bear in mind.

In his own words: "One major misconception is that Islamists (i.e., Islamic supremacists or Muslims who want sharia implemented) demand that all non-Muslims convert to Islam... In reality, sharia explicitly invites the presence of non-Muslims provided that they submit to the authority of Islamic rule...because sharia calls on these submissive non-Muslims (dhimmis) to pay a poll tax (jizya), their continued presence (is) of economic importance in lands conquered by Islamic rulers... The point of imposing sharia -- the reason it is the necessary precondition for building an Islamic society -- is to make Islam the dominant social system, not the exclusive faith. The idea is that once sharia's systematic discrimination against non-Muslims is in place, non-Muslims will see the good sense of becoming Muslims. Over time, every one will convert 'without coercion.' The game is to set up an extortionate incentive for conversion while maintaining the smiley-face assurance that no one is being forced to convert at the point of a sword."

McCarthy's entire piece can be read here.


Who'd've thunk?
If you are alive, you've heard the refrain that "today's kids" or "the next generation" are selfish, spoiled, soft, promiscuous, predisposed to violence, addicted to ____, etc. Every version of "today's kids" and "the next generation" gets talked about the same, and what gets said is often rubbish. 

The Millennial Generation (the one comprised of people who are right now in or near the 20-to-35 age range) has received loads of criticism, including an overdose amount alleging that most of its members are infused with a entitlement mentality. However, a column published this week by Michael Barone shows there is a lot about the Millennial Generation that should make us feel optimistic about the future. The gist is that, through this point in their collective lives, millennials have generated much lower crime rates and much better personal behavior than could be said about the last few generations at the same stage in their collective lives. And, this is true despite millennials having been raised in conditions that usually produce more crime and worse personal behavior. Go here to read Barone's take.


Deflategate
Super Bowl XLIX will be played on Sunday and will pit the New England Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks. Right now everyone is obsessing that balls used by the Patriots were underinflated during the first half of the AFC Championship Game.

The word "cheaters" is being used by millions of people, including journalists, when they talk about the Patriots. However, no one is mentioning the fact that over the last five seasons, the Seahawks have had more players suspended for performance enhancing drugs than every other team in the NFL. Those five seasons are the precise period during which Pete Carroll has been the Seahawks' head coach.

Likewise, millions of people are bringing up Spygate to accuse Bill Belichick of being unscrupulous, yet no one is bringing up the scandals that tainted Pete Carroll's time at USC to accuse him of being unscrupulous.

In case you've forgotten, the rules violations when Carroll was head coach at USC resulted in it being stripped of 30 scholarships, stripped of its 2004 national championship, banned from bowl games for two years, and forced to retroactively forfeit every victory from its 2005 conference championship season. Like Belichick, he pled ignorance; but unlike Belichick, he abandoned ship by leaving USC to take the Seahawks' job shortly before the findings and penalties were announced. 

I'm just sayin'.


American Sniper
This feels like my most important entry so I saved it for last. Yes, American Sniper is that good. I saw it on a Wednesday night and the theater was crowded. And if you will forgive me for indulging in some emotion that is very unbecoming, may I say that Michael Moore is a despicable human being with few brains, hollow balls, and, as far as I can tell, no redeeming qualities?

American Sniper does not come close to "glorifying" war. It portrays our soldiers not as simpleton choir boys, but as decent human beings struggling to cope with searing complexities most of us will never have to face. The movie does not paper over the psychological trauma that battle imposes on young men, nor does it paper over the deleterious effect that that trauma imposes on their families. And contrary to what Moore and his ilk would have you believe, it does give deference to the fact that good people can and will have disagreements about our involvement in Iraq.

Of course, Moore is far from alone in attacking American Sniper without having seen it; and sadly, he is not alone when it comes to engaging in character assassination against the late Chris Kyle. Many members of America's smug, pampered, jet-setting Left have done the same, and in many instances they have ridiculed those who choose to watch American Sniper. But Moore is the most prominent "critic" and it was he who suggested Kyle was a coward simply because he was a sniper -- a charge that is false on its face, and even more false when you consider that Kyle also engaged in ground-level, thick-of-things soldiering alongside everybody else. 

I find myself angry that Moore's slovenly, ill-willed, ungrateful self is still walking the planet while Kyle's kids are rendered fatherless. Perhaps he appreciates the freedom of speech that his betters gave their lives to preserve, but unfortunately, he has no respect for it. If he did, he would not abuse it by continuing to slander those with whom he does not agree.