Archive for the 'Social Issues' Category



An MP3 Player For Books

My sister sent me a link to the Amazon Kindle that sparked my interest. It’s a lightweight $400 ebook reader – a specialized tablet PC with a wireless connection so you can download e-texts from Amazon. It sold out in five and a half hours according to Slashdot. Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos with [...]

Welcome Back Thommo

(Down Wombats – I’m not talking about our beloved pace bowler ) When the NY Times Op Ed columnists disappeared behind the Times Select firewall I missed Thomas Friedman the most. He is the newspaper’s ‘mister inbetween’ – viewed by the right as a screaming liberal and in a British publication called Why Do People [...]

A New Form of Civil Society

In response to discussion of this post on the subject of nuclear targeting Richard Fernandez of The Belmont Club is explaining why he is “cautiously optimistic that the War on Terror can be won without recourse to large-scale bloodshed.” On September 12 we were probably not very much weaker in a purely kinetic sense than [...]

Pre-constructing Reality

In a straight faced satire of contemporary reporting, Rob at The Better Part of Valour, pre-constructs a news item spinning away the likely damage to the credibility of the traditional media if the court ordered release of the 27 minutes of rushes of the 2000 al Durrah incident occurs in Paris later today. Here is [...]

Language is a Giveaway

A Breitbart news item entitled Hollywood is casualty of war as movie-goers shun Iraq films has garnered over 500 indignant comments. Their overwhelming message is that the clueless article avoids the obvious – that the public wont go to them because the movies are anti military and anti American. The thread reads like an echo [...]

Anatomy of a Revolution

Linux caught my attention from the time is was a command line only operating system. The idea that a free operating system could be built by volunteers on the Internet led by Linus Torvalds fascinated me. I was no programmer, just an observer – a fan even. It was like discovering a Cinderella team and [...]

The Line

In my recent post Stirling Silver Button I talked about the particularly absurd conspiracy theory that asserts President Bush caused the 2004 tsunami by setting off a nuke in the Sumatra trench. Richard Landes picked it up and asked me from some links to it. I found a collection of links here and Richard wrote [...]

Stirling Silver Button

Richard Landes in The Brits Pig out on Anti-zionism: How Europe Commits Suicide at Augean Stables wonders what is behind the kind of one sided debate put on by the Oxford Union where the pro Israel team is made up of antisemites. It’s hard to figure out which plays more, whether they can’t stand another [...]

Guilt and Shame

One of the few commentators who aggressively tries to address the critical differences between Western culture and Arab culture is Richard Landes who blogs at the Augean Stables and The Second Draft. His essay Honor-Shame Jihad (HJP) is an excellent introduction to the role of honor-shame culture in the Arab Israeli conflict. As he says [...]

Never Again?

The current renewal of interest in the al Durrah affair has been triggered by a trial in the French courts which revolves around accusations that the film of the death of a 12 year old Palestinian boy aired by France 2 in 2000 was staged. The court will apparently order the release of the 23 [...]