Member since: Tue Sep 4, 2007, 06:36 AM
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Number of posts: 7,622
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This is a short article, but very much to the point and I hope that this will at least make some inroads into reassuring some at DU that there are perspectives on the potentially troubling effects of mass immigration that don't necessarily come from frothing UK tabloid red-top types (of which, apparently, I am one. News to me, my dears).
Those who know this problem best are the women who question and criticize the role they are given in Muslim society. Women for whom the Cologne attacks are nothing new. They know such behavior from Taksim Square in Istanbul and Tahrir Square in Cairo. Women who refuse to remain silent about gender relations in their societies.
Posted by sibelian | Thu Jan 21, 2016, 09:30 PM (3 replies)
Schwarzer: The debate over sexual violence has re-emerged as a result of that night in Cologne. Even Germany's justice minister, who for years allowed necessary reforms to tighten Germany's rape laws torot in a drawer, has pulled them out again. But when you only speak using generalizations, you run the danger of denying the specific. In recent decades, millions of people have come to us from cultural groups within which women have absolutely no rights. They do not have a voice of their own and they are totally dependent on their fathers, brothers or husbands. That applies to North Africa and that applies to large parts of the Middle East. It isn't always linked to Islam. But since the end of the 1970s, at the beginning of the revolution in Iran under Khomenei, we have experienced a politicization of Islam. From the beginning, it had a primary adversary: the emancipation of women. With more men now coming to us from this cultural sphere, and some additionally brutalized by civil wars, this is a problem. We cannot simply ignore it.
Worth reading, I'd suggest. Adds quite a bit of perspective.
Posted by sibelian | Thu Jan 21, 2016, 07:13 PM (18 replies)
I think some people posting here might get a better idea of what's going on in Europe with the migrant situation if they read this article, which is about Cologne, and then the comments section on this article, (and not the "Guardian picks", which are laughably slanted towards Hinsliffe's position). It would also give some of you an idea of how the left in the UK currently views the Guardian, which is to say - not with fondness.
A lot of people are extremely angry.
I suggest reading the entire comment thread. I have been posting to the Guardian comments section for some years now and I have never seen an author so roundly lambasted there, the audience completely obliterates Hinsliffe, and given the tone of her article, I'm not at all surprised. There are 6,000 comments and some of the recommendation totals are in the thousands. It's unprecedented in my experience.
It is often better to hear the voice of the people rather than the voice of the journalist or politician. It will rapidly become clear to anyone reading the comment section on the article I've linked to that the current stance of tolerance for uncontrolled immigration is not going to last much longer.
And this is in the UK. I can't imagine how Germany is reacting. Not well, I suspect.
Posted by sibelian | Sat Jan 16, 2016, 08:09 AM (90 replies)
Stories suggest that many of the attackers are from Tunisia or Morocco. Some numbers of these men appear not to be refugees at all but rather economic migrants.
But if asylum seekers have no nationality or passport, how can you deport them?
Repeatedly in European media the attackers have been described as "North African", not "Syrian".
Posted by sibelian | Sat Jan 16, 2016, 07:56 AM (41 replies)
We'll miss you. You did well.
Some personalities are a little larger than life. So...
THIS is for you:
Thanks for posting here, buddy and...
(Anybody else fancy leaving a little Christmas present for Manny?)
Posted by sibelian | Sat Dec 19, 2015, 01:37 PM (137 replies)
... on and off on BOTH sites...
I can tell you that I was frankly appalled, though not at all surprised, at the admittedly rather small number of self-interested Norma Desmonds from here who flounced in at Discussionist and instantly declared the entire board to be beneath them with their noses a mile in the air rather than engage directly with the individuals who had expressed sentiments not to their liking. Pretty much everyone else on Discussionist was revolted as well, and rightly so.
Discussionist itself isn't really anything like DU, and it isnt supposed to be.
Very interestingly, there are now threads on Discussionist posted by CONSERVATIVES announcing an almost protective respect for DI liberals and their contributions as opposed to the attitudes displayed by the "average DUer".
I can't say I'm particularly surprised by that, either, although I do think there's a tendency among some DI conservatives to tar the entirety of DU with the same brush.
This isn't really how it's supposed to happen, is it, DU? They're supposed to be the Bad Guys.
They can be a rowdy bunch over there, but there's a whole pile of playground rules in that sand pit that don't apply here.
1. Rudeness is just rudeness and no-one's expected to think it's anything else.
2. If you don't make your case, you haven't made it. It's nobody's responsibility but yours.
3. Emoting about someone else's opinions means you've had emotions about it. That's it. Nobody cares.
4. If you actually DO make your case, generally speaking, people will respect you for it and stick to the subject.
5. People will actually concede points if you play straight and tell the truth.
6. Sometimes people change their minds. Really.
7. If you go away and come back....
... people are pleased to see you. Genuinely!
I've always found it an excellent forum for forcing me to present my case. I don't really get to post lazy tribalism.
There's not really any way of getting around this, DU isn't the way it used to be. There have always been people here who are here for the flamewars and spend their entire time here posting roffley smilies and expressing disdain. We all know who they are. It's no use for anything. They are no use for anything, either. There's been comments here regarding the nastiness of the conservatives at DI, well, as far as I'm concerned there are people posting on this site considerably more twisted, snobby, bad-mannered and unpleasant than the rudest conservative on DI. That's not something I expected to find out.
I'm VERY glad that I DID find it out. My "tribe" is not what I thought it was. I hope that at least some of the folk using this site as a lightning conductor for pent-up agggression rather than as a place to discuss politics have forgiveable reasons for doing so.... but in the end I'm not that bothered any more.
I'm very attached to the people on DU that inspire me and make me think, and there are very many of them... but the site itself? Not so much, not these days. Sorry. There's really just too much mess. The good members, which make up the vast majority, are constantly drowned out by the snotmongers.
There are no status games on Discussionist. If you like the idea of actually talking to people and listening to them, Discussionist will accomodate you. You won't get agreed with all the time, but you won't get kicked off for saying the wrong fucking WORD. All you have to do is take responsibility for yourself. Abandoning responsibility for your emotions and pretending it's other people's fault doesn't work there.
A considerable number of hghly active and extrmely well-informed and productive posters have left DU over the past year. Perhaps its time to think about why.
Posted by sibelian | Mon Dec 14, 2015, 06:27 PM (119 replies)
He agreed to pose with a bald eagle – America’s iconic symbol – for the magazine's cover story.
The idea came from award-winning portrait photographer, Martin Schoeller, who did the shoot.
The huge eagle, named 'Uncle Sam', is seen sitting on Mr Trump’s forearm, before pointing its beak at the US presidential candidate’s face and repeatedly trying to fly away.
So, there you go. Uncle Sam doesn't like Donald.
Posted by sibelian | Thu Dec 10, 2015, 12:36 PM (0 replies)
in her logo.... and lots of black people on Twitter think it's a crap-fest...
And Bernie supporters think roll their eyes at the useless hypocrisy and therefore are "perpetually outraged about something".
Maaaaaaaybe sign up to Twistter and tell all those black people what Hillary actually meant? I'm sure they'll appreciate it.
Posted by sibelian | Thu Dec 3, 2015, 11:28 AM (15 replies)
"YOU THERE. Why do you hate Muslims?"
"I don't. I think Islam is a bad idea."
"Look. There are millions and millions of ordinary Muslims all over the world. They are lovely, kind, honest, decent people who hurt no-one. They have children and laugh and cry and dream and want to have an ordinary life like everyone else. Why do you hate them?"
"I don't hate them. I agree that Muslims are very nice people just like everyone else. I think Islam is a bad idea. I don't hate the people who believe in Islam, I think they believe the wrong things. I also think punishing Muslims in general for the actions of the radicalised followers of their religion would be utterly horrible."
"Don't you understand that bigotry is wrong?"
"Yes, I understand that perfectly."
"No, you only THINK that you do."
"No, I know that I do."
"Why do you hate Muslims?"
"I don't. I have gone out of my way to tell you exactly in plain English how I feel about Muslims, and that I am able to distinguish between Muslims and Islam as entities in the Universe and why they should be thought about as separate things. I think the person who is having difficulty separating them is not me, but you."
"I'm not talking about Islam, I'm talking about MUSLIMS? Why do you hate Muslims?"
"I don't hate Muslims. I disagree with Islam. Whenever I say 'Islam', you seem to hear 'Muslims'. The words are different and refer to different things. That, in fact, is the reason we have different words for the two things, to make it a simple matter to distinguish between them. I am quite careful to use the appropriate nouns when I relate my thoughts to people, specifically to avoid the confusion you are accusing me of and make it very clear to them that I already understand the difference between Muslims and Islam."
"Look. Muslims are in danger. People are bigoted against them. You are one of these bigots, you just don't realise it. You are saying you hate Islam but really I think you have to admit it, don't you? This is just racism. You hate Muslims."
"No, I don't hate Muslims. The reason I am able to say this to you in the hope that you will accept what I say in good faith is because I partake of that fundamentally human characteristic that I share with both them and you - a subjective experience of my own cognition. This means that When I Think Things, I am able to report to you directly the results of my thinking. You don't have to work it out, I can actually just tell you. And what I'm telling you is that Muslims and Islam are different things and can be thought about as different things by virtue of the fact that Muslims are living organisms and Islam is a cluster of concepts. Having been alive and capable of interacting with other ordinary human beings all over the planet for some years now, I have arrived at the conclusion that human beings and abstract concepts are separable all by myself and understand that it is in fact possible to make judgements of a belief without supposing that someone holding that belief is in any sense inherently unwholesome or nasty or smelly or bad or ugly or scary or weird or describable with any other adjectives with negative overtones. It was not difficult for me to arrive at this conclusion as I myself have been wrong about some things, as have you, I strongly suspect, and understand that sometimes brains produce junk. It is the junk that I don't like, not the brains, nor the owners of those brains. I do not hate Muslims. In fact, I know many Muslims. I have no doubt that you will dismiss that as another example of the "Some of my best friends are...", argument, which dismissal would be the right thing to do if I was suggesting knowing them qualified me to ignore what they say, which is what the "Some of my best friends are" argument is actually wrong about, but in fact I am saying it to disabuse you of your unfounded assumption about me, to wit, that I hate Muslims."
"You just admitted it! You just said you hate Muslims!"
"Rather a lot was said by me before I arrived at that phrase, and said phrase could only be interpreted as an expression of actual hatred of Muslims by someone who had ignored every one of my preceding points."
"You do hate them. Subconsciously. That's why you said you hate Muslims. Why can't you see it?"
"Because there's nothing there to see. Only somebody who doesn't actually understand what the subconscious is could make your most recent assertion. Speech is a product of the conscious mind, not the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind does not have that power. Nor is it at all meaningful or true to suppose that the subconscious mind has the power to express hidden meanings in the produce of the conscious mind, particularly not if the plain structure of that produce explicitly contradicts that hidden meaning. If I say: "I don't know how anyone could hate gay people," you might suppose that I secretly hated gay people because my utterance contains the phrase 'hate gay people' but that would be ridiculous, wouldn't it? What we're seeing here instead is perpetual threat perception with the sensitivity turned all the way up to the max in service of a hero-complex."
"Your words are HARMING MUSLIMS."
"There is no harm coming to Muslims from my dislike of Islam. Harm coming to Muslims requires a generalised disinterest in separating people from their belief structures, which is not what I'm doing, and in cases where some imaginary nasty people listening to what I have said and deciding that it legitimises their own extant hatred of Muslims I am not responsible for the emotional charge around their perceptions of Muslims as their hatred is extant. They would be looking for excuses to hate them anyway just as you are looking for excuses to accuse me of hatred resembling theirs. There is nothing in what I have said that could cause hatred of Muslims, other than in the minds of people who want excuses to hate Muslims, which would not be my fault. Such increased danger is in fact far more likely to come from being freaked out by things getting blown up by Islamic terrorists. People who think symbolically rather than logically do not need my opinions to help them with their hatred. They're actually much more likely to ignore me completely, given that they will be able to tell that I don't hate Muslims through my having said so in ordinary words, thus alienating me from them. So if you think my statements are adding weight to the wrong side of an enormous, imaginary, collective, Human Opinion See-Saw on which one side is 'hate Muslims' and on the other is 'leave Muslims alone' I ask you to consider this idea - that you are thinking metaphorically instead of logically and you should learn to read what is said to you and absorb its meaning in plain English rather than reflexively and petulantly relating it exclusively to structures it reminds you of already within your own mind."
"This is just 'hate the sin, not the sinner' all over again!"
"Your capacity for wilful misunderstanding would win you an Olympic medal. The reason 'hate the sin, not the sinner' is a problem is because that position obscures the idea that the thing under discussion, that being gay people living their lives according to the ordinary processes emergent from their sexual orientation, is a 'sin', which it isn't. The 'argument' places the asserter of sin in a context where they don't actually have to discuss the nature of the 'sin' beacuse they have a special way of thinking about themselves as nice people and so can think what they like because they're nice. They maintain the idea that gay people living their lives according to their hearts and their nature is a 'sin' by putting themselves on a totally bogus 'secretly more tolerant than thou' pedestal which doesn't actually have anything to do with understanding homosexuality. This process has nothing at all to do with the fact that Islam has weird, creepy ideas or that Islam is criticisable without assuming Muslims are evil people. 'Hate the sin not the sinner' places the focus on the interlocutor's relationship with the 'sinner' and actually avoids discussing the 'sin'. 'Criticise Islam, Respect Muslims' places the focus on Islam, not Muslims and so in fact does the exact opposite thing of 'hate the sin, not the sinner'. 'Hate the sin not the sinner'' is senseless because it's ridiculous to suppose homosexuality is a sin. Also, the supposed separation between the 'sin' and the 'sinner' is utterly bogus as legislation is constantly brought into being around homosexuals not homosexual behaviour. 'Criticise Islam, Respect Muslims' treats Islam as a belief structure to be criticised, which is an entirely logical and reasonable thing. Sexual orientation is not a belief structure. There, I have had to go to considerable lengths to unpack that one, I can't wait for the next wildly inappropriate co-option of minority identity political analysis, go for it. Perhaps you might like to consider the possibility that comparing 'hate the sin, not the sinner' to attempts to separate Islam from Muslims is grotesquely offensive to gay people as gay people are regularly slaughtered as a result of Islam, incidentally, not that that seems to make much difference to people like you."
".......God damn you. Why do you hate Muslims?"
"I don't. I think Islam is a bad idea. I have already said this. I used the right nouns and everything. This is really annoying."
"Islam is a religion of peace."
"That is demonstrably false. Waste no more of our time on that idea, please. It is obviously a lie. Islam is no more a religion of peace than Christianity is or Communism or Capitalism are political structures of peace or cucumbers are vegetables of international dialling codes. The Koran in fact has various specifications regarding the appropriate conduct of warfare."
"You said something nasty about the Koran! You hate Muslims."
"No, I don't hate Muslims. I have said this to you repeatedly now. What I actually think is that Islam is a bad idea."
"But your mind is made of cheese and your vicious, sizzling, neurotic, twisted horror of Islam will morph psychologically into a seething hatred of its followers because you are secretly MAD."
"No, that's not really how my mind works. Actually, most people's minds don't work like that. In fact, the vast majority of ordinary human beings don't think like that at all. I think your model for understanding People Who Are Not You might be a bit strange. Perhaps you are using the utterly tiny number of hate crimes against Muslims as evidence of some widespread phenomenon akin to the foul loathing of Jewish people in the mid-20th century that led to their being rounded up and murdered during the Holocaust, which was a highly peculiar thing as no Jewish people had blown anything up or cut off anyone's heads or killed any gay people because of Judaism or decided women were inherently too decorative to be seen or untrustworthy behind the wheel of a motorised vehicle because of the Torah or anything like that. The current situation is dramatically different. There is a great deal of hatred against Muslims, but I do not partake of it, and that hatred is not emergent from a national fever dream but from what a number of Islamic terrorists have actually done. It is very regrettable but not particularly mad, under the circumstances. It is well within the normal range of human reaction."
"Listen to me. You have to understand something. Muslims are kind, decent people. They are friendly. They love their children. They are good. They must not be hurt by your Islamophobia."
"I'm not interested in Islamophobia. I have no interest in hurting or upsetting Muslims and my distrust of Islam is not a phobia. The things that concern me about Islam, which is a different thing from Muslims, are firstly that it features a broad-spectrum cloud, centred on a commonality of religious movements pursued under the banner of 'Islam', of weird, twisted, ugly ideas about women, gay people and people who aren't Muslims, which is antithetical to my own beliefs about women, gay people and people who aren't Muslims, and secondly, that it produces people who want to blow innocent people up with alarming frequency. I disagree with these ideas. I think they are wrong. That is why I have repeatedly attempted to explain to you that I already understand that Muslims and Islam are not the same thing and I am beginning to think you are here entirely to waste my time as you are obviously congenitally incapable of separating Islam from Muslims yourself."
"They're trying to blow us up because we bombed them."
"That doesn't work, does it? The Muslims who are attacking us very often don't even come from the areas we are bombing. It doesn't make any sense. Suppose you are a Christian. Would you place yourself in a suicide bombing vest and bomb innocent people because someone in a totally different country suicide-bombed a church in another totally different country? I would suspect not. There is a belief structure that seems to legitimise this kind of response, and not just in the minds of the people doing the suicide bombing but also in those seeking to protect those who share the suicide bombers religion, that belief structure is Islam. Are atheists Christianophobic? No. That's a very silly idea. Actually, I find the word 'Islamophobia' very strange indeed. If it was 'Muslimophobia' it would make for more sense. Conflating criticism of an idea with meaningless prejudice against its believers is exactly that, a conflation. Islam is a belief structure like any other and open to criticism and analysis like any other."
"Why do you hate Muslims?"
"Why don't you understand that you hate Muslims? You think you disagree with Islam but really you hate Muslims."
"I don't hate Muslims."
"Do you understand that your constant doubling down only re-affirms your deep and abiding hatred of Muslims?"
"I have no deep and abiding hatred of Muslims. I have explained this to you."
"Your hatred of Muslims is so deep, so evil and terrible. Why do you hate them? Don't you see how scary you are?"
"I do not hate Muslims. I think Islam is a bad idea. I am not scary. Belief structures that legitimise hanging gay men and treating women like useless possessions of little more social consequence than a farm-animal are scary. They are a great deal scarier than people who want to point out that they are scary but only mildly scarier than people who want to stifle the opinions of those who think the belief structures themselves are scary by repeatedly asserting that criticism of the belief structure is akin to racism. It's not."
"How deep your Islamophobia runs. You need to see a psychiatrist."
"No, there's nothing wrong with me."
"That's exactly what you would say if there WAS something wrong with you."
"It is also exactly what I would say if there wasn't. I refer you to my earlier observations regarding your easily inferable internal model of People Who Are Not You."
"Why do you hate Muslims?"
"Why do you keep asking me that when I've already told you a ridiculous number of times that I don't?"
"Because you really DO hate Muslims and you just don't realise that you do. Why would you hate Islam so deeply if it wasn't because you hate Muslims? Don't you realise that Muslims and Islam are different things?"
"Yes, I understand that perfectly, which is why I said so as clearly and articulately as possible so as to avoid your supposing that I didn't. What I DON'T do is suppose that Islam and Muslims being different things is the end of the analysis, I also believe different judgements of them are possible through their being different things and I'm beginning to think that you don't. I'm also beginning think that the separation of Islam and Muslims is an idea you would prefer to have wrangled out of your interlocutor despite themselves, if you actually had any interest in separating a religion conceptually from its followers at all. If you had a deep-seated need to feel like you were defending somebody without having to go through any of the messy, complicated, cost-ridden physical, intellectual and emotional efforts of actually defending them from something, pretending that other people's words mean things that they don't and arguing with your imaginary version of their meanings would be an excellent way of doing it, wouldn't it? An Internet message board would be a wonderful way of doing it, too. People contradicted - any number of them. Muslims actually saved - zero."
"You hate Muslims. You hate them so deeply. Your hatred of Muslims is a scary bad thing. Scary Bad."
"You are an imbecile."
"Why do you hate Muslims?"
"Why aren't you on medication?"
"Why do you hate Muslims?"
(Gr! Fucking bigots. Fucking Islamophobic SHITS. Fuck Fuck Fuck)
Type. Press. Search. Open Tab.... THREAD. THREAD, THREAD, THREAD!
"YOU THERE! Why do you hate Muslims?"
Posted by sibelian | Mon Nov 30, 2015, 06:00 PM (77 replies)
I have say I admire your fortitude. It's a thankless task.
Her being female doesn't seem to count for anything, her being likely to win according to polls doesn't seem to count for anything, her campaign strategy doesn't seem to garner her any respect, her clothing doesn't register with anyone who isn't particularly interested in women's clothing, people talk about her e-mails, people talk about her hawkish foreign policy, people talk about everything about her except how awesome she is.
I have to reiterate the sentiments of an earlier post on this board, it's not hate. Nobody could hate someone that banal.
And it is her BANALITY that turns people off.
She's a gamer, not a leader.
It's not just her support that's a mile wide and an inch deep, it's her entire policy platform.
She is the most beautiful embodiment POSSIBLE of everything about American politics that everyone's fed up with. She's evasive, she's poised, she's graceful, she's elegant, she always seems to think she knows better then everyone else without really saying why... She's a lean, mean fighting machine. I don't doubt that.
But that's not the solution, that's the problem.
Victories are only important if they gain something for the victorious beyind the idea of the victory itself. There's no point winning an election with a candidate that can't be relied on to what's right over what wins.
ANYTHING can "WIN". That's not the point. Not so long ago Bush won. Shouldwe all have voted for him because he was likely to win?
So, your task isn't what you think it is. There's no point pissing the rest of us off. WE don't care. Why would we vote for someone on the grounds that you have issues with us?
It's Clinton herself that we take issue with, not your perception of us. You can think what you like about us, that's not going to tick the box. Why would anyone go into a voting booth and think "Oh dear, I annoyed someone on DU, I'd better vote for Hillary". Nobody's going to do that, are they?
Make your case. She must bring something of value to people, not politics. Politics does what it likes - that we can all see.
There's no point treating the entire population of the United States as lumps of Play-Doh that get all their ideas about politics from politicians. They don't.
Posted by sibelian | Sun Nov 22, 2015, 05:31 PM (426 replies)