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August 12, 2006

"...I Would Find Something in Them to Have Him Hanged"

On the ACLU blog, this is from an entry by Bruce Schneier:

Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he famously said, "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." Watch someone long enough, and you'll find something to arrest -- or just blackmail -- with. Privacy is important because without it, surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers and to spy on political enemies -- whoever they happen to be at the time.

"The World Is Appalled Only When a Muslim Is Killed by Israelis"

Via Andrew Sullivan, from a translation of an editorial by André Glucksmann:

The outrage of so many outraged people outrages me. On the scales of world opinion, some Muslim corpses are light as a feather, and others weigh tonnes. Two measures, two weights. The daily terrorist attacks on civilians in Baghdad, killing 50 people or more, are checked off in reports under the heading of miscellaneous, while the bomb that took 28 lives in Qana is denounced as a crime against humanity. Only a few intellectuals like Bernard-Henri Lévy or Magdi Allam, chief editor of the Corriere della Sera, find this surprising. Why do the 200,000 slaughtered Muslims of Darfur not arouse even half a quarter of the fury caused by 200-times fewer dead in Lebanon? Must we deduce that Muslims killed by other Muslims don't count -- whether in the eyes of Muslim authorities or viewed through the bad conscience of the west? This conclusion has its weak spots, because if the Russian Army -- Christian, and blessed by their popes -- razes the capital of Chechnian Muslims (Grosny, with 400,000 residents) killing tens of thousands of children in the process, this doesn't count either. The Security Council does not hold meeting after meeting, and the Organization of Islamic States piously averts its eyes. From that we may conclude that the world is appalled only when a Muslim is killed by Israelis.
The original editorial from Le Figaro reads as follows:
L'indignation de beaucoup d'indignés m'indigne à mon tour. Pour l'opinion publique mondiale, certains morts musulmans pèsent le poids d'une plume, d'autres des tonnes. Deux poids, deux mesures. Le meurtre terroriste d'une cinquantaine de civils chaque jour à Bagdad est relégué à la rubrique des faits divers, tandis que le bombardement qui tue vingt-huit habitants à Cana est élevé au rang de crime contre l'humanité -- seuls quelques rares esprits comme Bernard-Henri Lévy et Magdi Allam, rédacteur en chef du Corriere della Sera, s'en étonnent. Pourquoi les deux cent mille massacrés du Darfour ne suscitent-ils pas le quart de la moitié des réactions horrifiées qu'éveillent les victimes deux cents fois moins nombreuses du Liban? Lorsque des musulmans tuent d'autres musulmans, faut-il croire que cela ne compte pas, ni pour les autorités coraniques ni pour la mauvaise conscience occidentale? L'explication est boiteuse, car lorsque l'armée russe, chrétienne et bénie par les popes, rase la capitale des musulmans tchétchènes (Grozny, 400 000 habitants) et tue les enfants par dizaines de milliers, cela ne compte pas davantage. Le Conseil de sécurité ne tient pas alors réunion sur réunion, et l'Organisation des États islamiques détourne pieusement les yeux. Force est de conclure que seul le musulman tué par des Israéliens vaut indignation universelle.
A more literal translation of the first line would read:
The indignation of many of the indignant in turn makes me indignant.
Less eloquent, but perhaps more accurate.

In any case, this author asks something I've been wondering myself. Why is it that so many Muslims around the world are indignant, angry, and outraged when an Israeli kills one of their own, even accidentally, and so appallingly silent at the Shiite-versus-Sunni horror show taking place in Baghdad? Muslims are killing one another there in staggering numbers and in unspeakable ways on a daily basis. Where is the indignation, the anger, the outrage at that?

I'm Not Sure...

...why I haven't been blogging lately. It's true that I've been busy with a host of activities -- soccer with my older son, hiking with my younger son, mountain biking with my daughter, hosting old friends visiting from out of town -- but I could still make time if I wanted. And it's not that there's a shortage of things about which to blog. I see them every day.

I'm leaving for Seattle tomorrow morning, and for whatever reason, the fact that my trip is fast approaching is making me want to blog again. We'll see.

August 02, 2006

"Brokebat Mountain"

So now that we know the title (The Dark Knight), villain (The Joker), and the actor playing him (Heath Ledger) of the next Batman movie from Christopher Nolan (press release via Ain't It Cool News), my question is, how long before we see the first Brokebat Mountain fan poster on the Internet? The news came out two days ago. I'm guessing we'll have a great version by the end of the week.