Friday, September 22, 2006

“They have the internet on computers now?”

Sorry for my slow blogging rate as of late. I am moving back to California next week, and making sure everything with my job is finished is consuming my mind at the moment. I will have part 2 to my fascism piece tomorrow, or I owe you a Coke.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

For the Love, Stop Using “Fascism” – Part 1

Ok, it is now a fact: fascism as a term is as good as dead. I hear it used so frequently, and so inappropriately, that it has lost all meaning within most common discourse. Need proof? How about this for inaccuracy:
“Word of the day: DEMOFASCISTS

Used to describe Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and any of the other irresponsible, Constitutionally-derelict jack-asses who think threatening to pull ABC’s broadcast license is something they can get away with.”

Threatened to remove ABC’s broadcasting license? Clearly Sister Toldjah has a problem with reading comprehension, for the letter released by the Democratic Party says no such thing. It does say this however:
“We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program.”

Urging a major network to cancel or correct a factual error within a show is not the same as threatening to shut them down, but that subtlety was apparently lost on Toldjah.

This little spat has to do with a program ABC ran titled “The Road to 9/11”, which alludes to a conspiracy that Bill Clinton purposely let Osama Bin Laden get away in the years before 9/11.

While I am opposed to nearly all forms of censorship, I don’t think the Democratic Party did anything wrong by urging a private company not to air a program that so obviously and erroneously condemned them. While I don’t have the facts on this, I bet ABC has a number of Democratic viewers that would be angry with the series and may cause them to lose revenue in the future. Heck, my more cynical side feels that they never intended to “blame” Clinton in the actual program, and that this whole hoopla is one huge marketing escapade (which they surely achieved).

Of course, all of the right wing pundits who are complaining about the Democratic Party’s desire to edit or remove this program seem to have forgotten that they personally bitch about dozens of programs, movies, and art pieces a year. Remember the Reagan made-for-TV film that got a number of Republicans all prissy? How about films like Dogma that were protested by religious conservatives and social pundits? There were plenty of conservatives calling for Miramax (which is owned by Disney, as is ABC) to pull the film. Apparently folks like Sean Hannity forget that they call for censorship just about every damn day.

But I digress. My point was that calling Democrats fascists because they asked a network to change a fallacy in their program is pretty dim-witted.

Recently, President Bush began referring to Islamic terrorists as “Islam fascists”. He is hardly the first person to do so, but again proves my point that the term fascist is commonly misunderstood and inappropriately applied. Don’t get me wrong, totalitarian Islamic organizations are one of the greatest threats free people around the globe face, but that does not mean they follow a fascist ideology. Although the ideology is a bit harder to define than say communism, wikipedia describes it as:
“Although the broadest definitions of fascism may include every authoritarian state that has ever existed, most theorists see important distinctions to be made. Fascism in Italy arose in the 1920s as a mixture of syndicalist notions with an anti-materialist theory of the state; the latter had already been linked to an extreme nationalism. Fascism in many ways seems to have been clearly developed as a reaction against Communism and Marxism, both in a philosophic and political sense, although it opposed democratic capitalist economics along with socialism, Marxism, and liberal democracy. It viewed the state as an organic entity in a positive light rather than as an institution designed to protect collective and individual rights, or as one that should be held in check. It tended to reject the Marxist notion of social classes and universally dismissed the concept of class conflict, replacing it instead with the struggle between races, and the struggle of the youth versus their elders. This meant embracing nationalism and mysticism, and advancing ideals of strength and power as means of legitimacy, glorifying war as an end in itself and victory as the determinant of truth and worthiness.”

While I feel fascism as an ideology is far more complex than a single paragraph can explain (or that I am personally able to explain), I find that wikipedia piece to be a good introduction. If you were looking for furthur reading into Fascism, check out Roger Griffin’s book “Fascism”. I found it to be a good starting point.

Tomorrow, more on “Islamo Fascism” and leftist claims of fascism…

Monday, September 18, 2006

How Dare He!

I can’t help but laugh about the recent stink the Pope has gotten into. As we all know, the Pope made some comments about Islam, that in retrospect were not helpful in repairing ties between Catholics and Muslims. In a recent speech, he quoted a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of Islam's Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman" and referred to spreading Islam "by the sword." Obviously, such a comparison was bound to piss people off, even if it was not intended to be a personal condemnation by the Pope.

But isn’t it ironic that some groups within the Muslin world (like Al Qaeda), who were offended by such a characterization, responded with this statement:
“We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."

"How dare you call us violent thugs! We will have your head for this!"