Friday, December 13, 2002

Trent Lott's Gaffe

The only openly systematic discrimination based on race done these days is done with the support of liberals, i.e., affirmative action, which in practical terms means that a white applicant to a major university has less than one tenth the chance of gaining admission than a black applicant with the same qualifications. And the situation is similar in hiring for jobs with major companies.

So why did Lott's gaffe hit such a nerve? Not because Lott has proposed pro-segregation laws, and not because any such laws would be supported by anyone currently in congress. And not because such paleo-Southern sentiments would have any purchase on any conceivable policy.

(The only segregationists pushing their agenda these days are black segregationists.)

No, these charges of crypto-racism coming out against conservatives are the result of the fact that the conservatives are now in power and do not support affirmative action, and they won't confirm judicial appointments likely to support affirmative action. Affirmative action in college admissions is very likely to be struck down or severely modified by the Supreme Court of the land, and certainly one cannot expect any legislation that is going to shore up affirmative action coming from the new congress. And, for that matter, one hasn't heard much about repariations since the last election, either.

And in the minds of the left wingnuts, opposition to affirmative action and reparations can only be due to crypto-racism. It couldn't possibly be due to discomfort over the idea that we are systematically discriminating against white and asian young people, young people that haven't done anything wrong, on the basis of race. It couldn't possibly be that the idea of reparations is seriously flawed with all sorts of problems of fairness, penalizing people who are blameless of the sins that reparations are supposed to address. No, it can only be because we are trying to keep blacks down. And this is due to the fact that whites are still all damnable, evil racists in their hearts. And what Lott said proves this.

But there is nothing that they can do about it for a while other than throw these tantrums whenever they get the chance.

And there is the fact that this all happens just as is appears that Republicans are making some progress in reaching out to minorities. I'm sure that it causes the Democrats some anxiety to see minorities respond to these feelers from Republicans, so they were eager to take the opportunity to say, "See? They're just racists. Nothing that they say or do can change that. You can't ever trust them, don't even talk to them." when they got the chance.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Tort Reform in Mississippi

From an article in the Wall Street Journal...

The impasse in the legislature was broken when it came out on national television that plantiffs attorneys were bribing juries. In addition, several pro-trial lawyer judges, including a sitting Supreme Court justice, were defeated in the recent election.

It just goes to show that parasites who tax their host too much can find themselves put at a disadvantage.

...But last week the trial bar suffered a major defeat in Mississippi, and if reform can happen there it can happen anywhere.

The state legislature in Jackson voted to tighten rules on where cases can be tried, cap punitive damage awards, limit the state's joint-and-several liability rule so that companies with little blame can't be soaked as deep pockets, bar advertising by attorneys who aren't licensed to practice in Mississippi and slap a fine on the filing of frivolous lawsuits. That's not bad for government work, especially in a state renowned as the home of "jackpot justice."

...There are lessons here for national reform efforts. The prevailing view is that no reform can get past a 60-vote filibuster by Senate Democrats. But Mississippi proves that a long educational campaign, and a business and consumer movement that sticks together, can create the political climate for change. The battle won't be fast or easy, but the tort bar can be beaten.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Islam = Arab Imperialism

Religious scholars who have dissected or deconstructed Christian religious beliefs to the delight of critics of Christianity have begun to turn their attention on Islam.

Scholarship in this area is difficult because of a lack of cooperation from Muslim scholars who are either afraid of the violence of radical Muslims or are radical Muslims themselves. Muslims who opine, for example, that historical events might not have been exactly as written in the Koran are likely to get death threats or worse, and they are considered legitimate targets of officially sanctioned violence by Muslim clerics who incite others to violence against the apostate scholars.

Nevertheless, there is an increasing body of this sort of scholarship, and, as you might expect, a critical review of historical events shows that the Koran is not the most accurate description of events around 600 to 700 AD in the middle east after all. For one thing, it is likely that Mohammed did not even exist or that the reality of his ministry was quite different from that described. The Koran was probably written well after the events described transpired, not at the time as has always been claimed. The religious precepts of the Koran were probably formulated well after the expansion of the Arab Empire, and they were formulated to explain and justify this Imperialism, not the other way around.

It is not surprising, therefore, that right conduct according to the Koran very closely resembles pre-Islamic Arab tradition, including the tradition of conquest.

It is the most complete sort of conquest that makes the defeated believe that they have been spiritually saved by the culture and beliefs of the conquerors.

Arabs came in to a region by force or by threat of force and proceeded to completely replace the defeated culture. This is what happens to peoples taken over by Islam today. Islam replaces everything native. Islam supplants native customs, beliefs, dress, diet, language, naming conventions, everything. Islam moves the people to destroy all vestiges of their past religions and customs including shrines, images, scriptures, and memory. That transformation is so complete that Malaysian Muslims will tell you that their favorite fruit is the date rather than the native mango even though the date is not native to their country and has to be imported from the middle east.

Thus, to be Muslim is to be Arab: it is quite literally to dress like an Arab, to act like an Arab, to think like an Arab, to speak like an Arab, to write like an Arab, to have an Arabic name, to eat like an Arab. It is in essence to want to be an Arab.

Islam is Arab Imperialism from 600 AD to today, and it is very little more than that.