Tuesday, January 27, 2004

le parcours-- un véritable assortiment de blogs aujourd'hui!

Kevin at IA squats over and dumps on Korean image-consciousness.

The Marmot wonders: South Korea to build nuclear subs?

SEB: Canadians live in igloos. And other stereotypes. Convenient segue: while Mike deals with Canadian misconceptions about America here, Steven Den Beste writes a long (what else?) rebuttal to a liberal New Zealander here, in an attempt to disabuse her of her illusions about America. He admits he's probably failed in this.

Oranckay on good dictionaries. I could use something like what he's recommending. Will have to look into it.

The Infidel on dirty birds here, on Not America's Mission here, and on Seoul's leadership here. Oh, yeah-- the question of US intelligence failures here.

The Yangban on the trouble with goat sacrifices these days.

Jeff tackles the harsh reality facing novice lawyers (read the comments, too).

Kirk at the Sheep picks up the Satan's Anus question re: Dems who insist on calling the Iraq project "unilateral" or the coalition "fraudulent" (cf. Kerry's recent remarks). As he says:

I have wondered similar things about how many of the Dems talk about Bush's "unilateral war on Iraq" and the like. I have often wished that an Asashi Simbun or Chosun Ilbo (or their equivalents) reporter were to ask Dean or Kerry et al something along the lines of the following:

Japan and South Korea have both responded to Bush's call and have committed troops to Iraq. Both nations have been close allies to the U.S. for five decades. Both boast first-world economies and manufacture many of the consumer goods Americans use every day. Both have democratically elected governments. What, then, is "illegitimate" or "unilateral" about their participation in Iraq?
This is, I think, a legitimate question regardless of whether one thinks the war in Iraq was a good idea or not. Kerry and Dean et al seem to feel that Japan and Korea matter not a whit in the world. If this is the case, Japanese and Korean reporters should call them on it.

Mingi needs Phillip Morris, and finds pro-Bush people in the most unexpected places.

Peking Duck points to a cool and insight-laden interview he did.

Brit Liberal MP Jenny Tonge (I keep wanting to write "Tongue") has been getting a drubbing from outraged folks offended by her remarks indicating empathy with suicide bombers. Joe Katzman picks up on this at Winds of Change as he addresses people who responded to his thoughts on the subject.

Without delving too deeply into this, I'll humbly suggest that people need to keep their outrage in check for when it really counts. What Miss Tonge said was:

I guess if I was in their [i.e., the suicide bombers'] situation, with my children and grandchildren, and I saw no hope for the future at all, I might just think about it myself.

I think this is being overplayed. Face it, folks, if you were starving, oppressed, angry, and desperate, you'd probably act like a starving, oppressed, angry person. I don't think Miss Tonge's remarks should be taken for anything more than the hypothetical speculation they seem to be. One commenter, Ross Judson, echoes my feelings here:

Joe, you don't seem to be able to draw a distinction between the words "understand" and "condone". I can objectively understand the factors that lead to an action I do not agree with. For each of those factors, I can decide whether I believe it to be justification, or not.

My point is, people go crazy. I think that's what's happened here...Palestinian culture has lost some (or much) capacity for rational thought. I trust that we have not, though.

If you just want to kill'em all and be done with it, then I guess attempting to understand (not condone) their viewpoint makes no sense. Otherwise, you need to understand the factors (even the unreasonable or downright crazy ones) and deal with them one by one.

Do you claim to have a greater sympathy for victims of terrorism than I do? Is there a moral high ground reachable only by excluding rational debate of cause and effect?

I grant Joe Katzman's larger point about moral relativism: we can't pretend to be neutral on this subject, and I don't pretend to, either. But understanding where a terrorist is coming from and being sympathetic to him/her are two very different things. The attempt to understand is permissible, in my opinion. I'm in no way sympathetic. I doubt Ross Judson is, either.

von at Tacitus makes some predictions. Trickster chews on the WMD question (are they or aren't they?). Anticipatory Retaliation provides a more comprehensive look at the WMD question here.

Cobb posts a hilarious fictional dialogue between a customer and a retail store worker.

I always suspected, but now I know it's true: Dan Darling is sick, sick, sick.

Dr. Keith Burgess-Jackson also recommends the book that John Eckard is reading. John tells me he leans a little leftward on the spectrum... KBJ seems pretty hard-right. Scary confluence? I'm gonna have to pick up a copy of Pinker if both the lefties and the righties are telling me it's good. How's the weather in Sendai, John?

John Moore on Canada.

Satan's Anus on the glorious malignancy that is the blogosphere.

Andrew Sullivan lambastes Dick Cheney-- the one Lou Reed sang about in "Last Great American Whale." On a lighter note, Sullivan finds himself in the ideological company of cultural giants like Clint Eastwood.

Den Beste never fails to be shocked by the European nanny-state mentality.

Amritas: the most frequently-used English word is...?

Atrios refuses to give specifics in his reply to Andrew Sullivan's "challenge." That's disappointing, as is his pussyfooting.

CalPundit surveys the WMD issue by asking whether there were any experts who publicly doubted the existence of WMDs before the war.

Via Drudge: D'oh! Did the Dean campaign stiff a deli for nearly $1000? Granted, this isn't exactly earth-shattering news; I'm sure someone in the campaign'll pay the deli folks once they pay attention to the problem. Meantime, it's kinda' funny.

Ooooooh, yes: LET THE GAMES BEGIN! I've been waiting for this for a long, long time. (via Drudge)

Note to self: given how clueless I normally am about these things, I need to be extra-careful about the newest Internet worm.

Libya's not all that happy about losing its WMDs.

Go, Kofi!

Opportunity's pics are revealing geological clues.

This ought to make the Air Marshal very happy indeed.

Take THIS, Atkins Diet! High carbs, low fat!

If you've been following the Taiwan referendum flap (China's been rumbling against it, and so have some Americans), you now have more to entertain you: Chirac pronounces himself against the Taiwan referendum, too. Those Taiwanese never get a break, do they. I feel a special debt to the Taiwanese, not only because my favorite prof at CUA is a specialist in Taiwanese Pure Land Buddhism, and not only because my Dad spent part of his active Air Force stint in Taiwan in the 1960s, and not only because one of my mother's closest friends is from Taiwan-- but because the Taiwanese were the ones who manufactured my lovely 1999-era Macintosh G4 with 450MHz processor. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. You're all going to hell, anyway.

Allah links to Muslim sage advice on oral and anal. Good luck not getting fluids in your mouth. What the hell kind of religion dodges the ancient "spit or swallow?" question??

Damn, it's snowy where I live.

A picture of the oldest t'aegeukgi (South Korean flag) is discovered. Too bad the article doesn't actually SHOW THE PICTURE.

T'aegeuk is the Korean pronunciation of the characters t'ai-chi, or "Great Ultimate" as it's commonly translated. The t'aegeuk is generally a red-and-blue yin/yang symbol in Korea; in China, the symbol often includes little spots like "fish eyes" to show that yin erupts out of yang and vice versa.

Please don't say "ying and yang," or I'll be forced to shoot you. And by the way, in Korea it's "eum" and "yang." The ladies do produce a kind of "eummmmm" reaction in me, so I think that's appropriate.


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