Thursday, March 4, 2010

None of us has a right to always be right


Jewish date:  18 ’Adhar 5770 (Parashath Ki Thissa’).

Today’s holiday:  Casimir (Roman Catholicism).

Topic 1:  More anti-Semitism:  “Israel Apartheid Week Comes to Town” and “Conjecture vs. Fact Drives Vancouver Sun Reporting on Assassination”.  These articles deal with poisoning the well (working to avoid anyone listening to one’s opponents, usually accomplished through lying) and presenting speculation as if it were fact.  (Again, I acknowledge this topic gets a lot of play.  I plan on stopping harping on it once the problem goes away.)  More interesting is “Opposing the digital pogrom”; the government of Israel has gotten so fed up with anti-Semitic attacks from foreign reporters that it struck back with Masbirim (English translation via Google Translate), a site encouraging Israeli citizens to do pro-Israel PR when abroad.  Foreign reporters are reportedly not pleased with being parodied in the videos as being totally clueless, but considering that said reporters frequently have little or no idea of the context of what they are reporting on, the lampooning is fair.

Topic 2:  “Libya slaps embargo on Swiss, demands U.S. apology”.  Libya in this article illustrates the fallacy that one is always entitled to be right, no matter what.  Libya may not appreciate the Swiss ban on new minarets.  Libya may even feel that it is religiously proper to declare a jihad against Switzerland.  However, it is beyond all reason for Libya to expect the United States or Switzerland (or any other non-Muslim country) to necessarily agree to what Libya (or any Muslim country) wants.  The United States and Switzerland are religiously tolerant countries with civil liberties.  Jihad—the epitome of religious intolerance—is not appreciated in either country, and their citizens are free to criticize anyone, including heads of state.  As such, if Mu‘ammar al-Qaḏāfī’s son broke laws in Switzerland on how domestic help is supposed to be treated, then the Libyans should not expect the Swiss to be anything but displeased.  And if the Swiss feel that Muslim immigrants have been abusing their civil liberties, then Libya should not be surprised if the Swiss get wary or even take measures against abuse.  And if Mu‘ammar al-Qaḏāfī calls for a jihad, then he should not be surprised that a US diplomat does not approve.  And, as a US citizen, I invoke my own right of free speech and suggest that everyone in the US, Switzerland, and elsewhere, counter the Libyan boycott with a boycott against Libyan products; there is no point in rewarding a regime which expects to be kowtowed to at all times.

Topic 3:  For today’s religious humor:  “Even Basement Cat”:


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