More On Our Top Story

Just a few links for tonight, from two thoughtful observers.

First, a couple of items from Bill Vallicella. The first is a meditation on the “No True Scotsman” fallacy; given how much rubbish we’ve been hearing about who is and isn’t a true Muslim lately, it is timely.

In the second item Bill, citing the philosopher of religion John Hick, examines the totalitarian nature of Islam, and its fusion of religious and political authority. He asks whether, in light of this, a case cannot be made that it is exempt from certain Constitutional protections.

Our other source tonight is John Derbyshire. Last week’s Radio Derb, which was devoted almost entirely to the Paris event and its reverberations, was especially good, and so I am going to send you off to read the transcript. (The first weekly Radio Derb podcast of every month is free, at Taki’s Magazine; the other recordings are available, for a very modest fee that is well worth the expense, here.)

Derb agrees, generally, with our commenter David Duff’s opinion that, however bad mass Muslim immigration has been for the West, it can’t be undone:

We’ve let this dreadful thing happen, and I can’t see the slightest possibility of it un-happening. The toothpaste is out of the tube. Or, as the Chinese say: The wood has been made into a boat. It can’t be unmade back into trees.

Having said so, though, he qualifies this gloomy opinion in various small ways. Go and read.

One thing I did notice: John D. and I enjoy serious metaphoric congruency on the question of what constitutes “hate speech”. Here’s me, the day before Derb’s podcast:

I find it wearying to see the world divided into a) those who welcome mass Muslim immigration to the West, and b) ‘Islamophobes’. Where once ‘tolerance’ meant acceptance without endorsement, it seems now that the range of possible orientations toward any group or cause whatsoever has been narrowed to only two: enthusiastic support, or ‘hate’. But one doesn’t have to ‘hate’ Muslims to prefer that they live in their own countries, under their rules and customs, while we live peacefully in our own. I don’t ‘hate’ antelopes, for example, but that doesn’t mean I want them in my house.

And here’s Mr. Derbyshire:

[I]t’s possible to believe that Islam is a fine, enriching, and noble religion in its homelands while not wanting it in my homelands. I don’t want koala bears in my living room, but I do not hate koala bears. I’m actually rather fond of them; but I like my living room the way it is.

Antelopes, koalas. I believe the acronym here is ‘GMTA’.


  1. Kevin Kim says

    Morons: our top story.

    And, dammit, you and Derb weren’t the only ones to do the animal metaphor. This is just like when I wrote, “I may like 4.6-headed Moebius-tesseract dragons, but this doesn’t mean I’d ever want one teleporting into my hyperspace diffraction chamber!” several months back.

    Credit where credit is due!

    Posted January 15, 2015 at 3:28 am | Permalink
  2. “There are only two things I can’t stand in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures … and the Dutch.” — Nigel Powers

    Posted January 15, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
  3. Going Dutch is good, so far as it goes, but it’s only halfway there.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted January 15, 2015 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
  4. You guys might find this funny, tragic or pathetic; probably all of the above:

    Something about the Crusades . . .
    CNN with up-to-the-moment analysis of church bombings in Europe.
    By James Lileks
    CNN News
    April 5 2015 3:07 p.m.

    ANCHOR: We return now to Vatican City, where earlier this morning — Easter Sunday, as it is known by the people who call themselves “Christians” — an explosion demolished Saint Peter’s, a basilica that many say symbolizes the gap between the wealth of the Church and the poverty of many countries. Jen Bleuper was at the scene when the explosion happened. Jen, what are you hearing about the explosion?


    ANCHOR: Professor Ubroc, you teach a course on the intersection between architectural history and terrorism, do you not?

    PROFESSOR: I do, and now I actually have an example to use in class. If I may advance a contrary theory: It’s entirely possible that this terrorist act was intended to strike fear into the hearts of those who have championed a return to the classical buildings’ styles — either the baroque of Saint Peter’s or the rather rigid Roman style. By destroying these famous examples, they may hope to inspire others to do the same, and to bring about a new era of contemporary architecture that rejects the past entirely.

    ANCHOR: You’re saying these might be modern architects at work?

    PROFESSOR: I want to stress that they may be architects who profess a twisted form of modernism. They have nothing to do with modern architecture as practiced by the vast number of draftsmen and structural engineers who practice peaceful urban renewal. This is a perversion of the teachings of the architect Mies van der Rohe, who was completely opposed to such wanton destruction, unless of course you had the proper permits.

    ANCHOR: Have you heard of an architect named Hugh Agbar? He has been named as — oh, I’m sorry, I have to let you go — we are now receiving reports of similar attacks on Notre-Dame in Paris, and Saint Paul’s in London, and Our Savior’s Church in Stockholm. These are early reports, and I stress, I must stress, that the use of the words “Our Savior” is the name of the church, not the opinion of the network, I — hold on . . . okay, I’m hearing that CNN and other news organizations have been alerted to a video on YouTube that is taking credit for today’s action in the name of ISIS, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaeda in Yemen, al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Qaeda in Nebraska, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, the People’s Front of Judea, and other assorted groups; the list does go on. So. Mr. Borgissimo, back to you.

    GUEST: Yes?

    ANCHOR: You were saying something about the Crusades.

    — James Lileks is a columnist for National Review Online.

    Posted January 16, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink
  5. Whitewall says

    “Your Excellency” Big Henry..

    That post is dystopian wicked!

    Posted January 16, 2015 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
  6. I thought so, too. It reads like the parodies IowaHawk writes.

    BTW, WW, you need to be someone who says things like “chap” or “m’Lord” to call me “Your Excellency”. Everybody else calls me Henry, Big H, or TBH.

    I recently learned that TBH is now being used by texters for “to be honest”. But my claim to it predates that by many years.

    Posted January 17, 2015 at 12:11 am | Permalink

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