Category Archives: News

Most definitely anti-semitic

Economist.com | Mahathir Mohamad

From the country that brought you “only fellow Muslim nations should have troops in Iraq” comes some inflammatory anti-Semiticism:

THERE is much to be admired in politicians who are brave, or foolish, enough to say things that are true, even when they are unpopular. That is the sort of image that Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s prime minister for the past 22 years, has sought to cultivate—as a man not afraid to speak his mind, to call a spade a spade, to stand up against foreign pomposity and bullying. Although he does not allow free speech within Malaysia, his right to say what he thinks should nevertheless be defended outside it. But what if he says things that are untrue, but popular? That is what he did on October 16th, at the summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, when he said that “The Europeans killed 6m Jews out of 12m, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.”

Implicit condoning of Holocaust coupled with the “Jews rule the world” propaganda. It doesn’t get much worse than that.

The response was predictable: outrage from governments and Jewish groups around the world, but a standing ovation at the conference. Both Dr Mahathir and his government officials were quick to defend his speech against its critics by saying that his point about Jewish control had been taken out of context. He was urging his fellow Muslims to eschew violence, and to emulate Jews by using their brains, not brawn. So it was a compliment, you see. It was just like the old Jewish joke about an Israeli who is puzzled when he sees his friend reading an anti-Semitic newspaper. “Our papers are full of bad news,” comes the reply. “But this one has good news; it says we control the whole world.”

“No, no, I was saying that we should learn from the Jews who rule the world!”

Reuters | Bush Tells Mahathir His Jew Remarks Are ‘Wrong’

Mahathir himself was unapologetic when asked last week about the furor his comments had caused, and some Arab leaders said he was simply telling it like it is.

“The fact is that they are biased, most of them are biased. They think while it is proper to criticize Muslims and Arabs, it is not proper to criticize Europeans and Jews,” he told reporters after closing the Islamic summit hosted by Malaysia.

Anti-Semitic?

Howard Kurtz does a run down (“A Blogger’s Apology“) of the controversy surrounding Gregg Easterbrook’s blog about Kill Bill. Easterbrook hates the violence in the movie and thinks Tarantino is a hack. Fine. Then he says this:

Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney’s CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence.

Sounds pretty bad, right? It’s almost as though he’s setting up Jews as being particularly greedy, even more so than their Gentile counterparts.

Was there outrage? Lots of it. And he got fired from his ESPN job (ESPN is owned by Disney).

But finish the paragraph before firing off your angry email:

Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice. But history is hardly the only concern. Films made in Hollywood are now shown all over the world, to audiences that may not understand the dialogue or even look at the subtitles, but can’t possibly miss the message–now Disney’s message–that hearing the screams of the innocent is a really fun way to express yourself.

So what he’s saying is that just because the others do it, doesn’t make it right for a group, particularly when that group should be particularly sensitive to a particular issue. By the same logic, blacks shouldn’t make movies that glorify violence just because white people do, too.

Okay. Let’s get back to the issue at hand.

So let’s first admit that this anti-“violence in the media” rant is really tired (I mean, that’s why we chose not to give Tipper Gore or Joe Lieberman a bigger soapbox for their anti-Hollywood crusade, right?)–not to mention unsupported by research–and Easterbrook’s prescription for what cultural/religious/ethnic groups should or should not do is really pretty stupid… but the basic question is, was his statement a sign of antipathy toward Jews?

No.

But if any of my Jewish friends care to comment, you know where to send the email.

Right to an Attorney Comes at a Price

Right to an Attorney Comes at a Price (washingtonpost.com)

Can I have the right not to have an attorney in my residence? I guess I’ll have to consult the attorney.

…a new Minnesota law that requires poor people to pay as much as $200 for this privilege is under attack by public defenders and some judges, who contend that it undermines the 40-year-old legal tenet established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Gideon v. Wainwright.

Minnesota is one of a growing number of states facing enormous budget deficits that are beginning to charge indigents for their constitutional right to legal representation.

And I thought the administration’s economic policies and attack of civil liberties were two separate things. Okay, maybe I’m stretching here, but it’s still a terrible thing.

China Sends Man Into Orbit, Entering U.S.-Russian Club

China Sends Man Into Orbit, Entering U.S.-Russian Club

BEIJING, Wednesday, Oct. 15 – The Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou 5 blasted off from the Gobi Desert on Wednesday carrying a single astronaut. The launching left government leaders jubilant yet also anxiously awaiting his safe return so China can stake its claim as one of the world’s elite space-faring nations.

The launching took place about 9 a.m., according to the state-run television network, CCTV. At about 9:30, the network showed a videotape of the rocket soaring to the heavens.

The Shenzhou 5, or Divine Vessel, is expected to orbit Earth 14 times before returning after a voyage of roughly 21 hours.

If successful, the mission would make China the third nation to send a man into space, coming more than four decades after the Soviet Union and the United States accomplished the feat at the height of the cold war.